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The Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Todd Mercer, was pleased to declare open a workshop on Facilitating Agribusiness Development in Brunei Darussalam on 18 April 2016 at the Civil Service Institute, Rimba. The opening ceremony was also attended by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin. The workshop, which will run from 18-20 April, is being led by Professor Peter Batt, Dr Nazrul Islam, and Dr Amin Mugera of the University of Western Australia's (UWA) Institute of Agriculture. The event is funded by the Australia-ASEAN Council, and supported by the Australian High Commission to Brunei Darussalam.

In his opening remarks, High Commissioner Mercer said, "The Australian Government, through the Australia-ASEAN Council and our partners at the University of Western Australia, is pleased to be working with Brunei to further develop its agricultural sector. Professor Batt, Dr Islam and Dr Mugera have an incredible depth of expertise to share with their Bruneian counterparts, and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of their collaboration over the next few days, and into the future."

The workshop attendees include officers from the Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness (DOAA), Department of Forestry, University of Brunei Darussalam, and a wide range of agriculture and agribusiness private sector representatives.

The UWA expert team has been working closely with DOAA to develop a workshop that is responsive and sensitive to the needs and strengths of Brunei. Topics include Improving Productivity, Adding Value by Understanding your Customers, and Adoption of Agricultural Technology. The workshop outcomes will contribute to the development a holistic, systems-based framework to support agribusiness development in Brunei moving forward, in direct support of the Brunei Government's economic diversification agenda.

During their visit, the UWA team will also visit major Brunei agribusinesses and farms to see Brunei agricultural practices and processes first hand. They will also deliver a lecture at Universiti Brunei Darussalam on Food Security, and the challenge faced by governments worldwide of ensuring there is sufficient food for all in a climate of growing populations, diminishing resources and climate change.