Kg Senukuh hopes to expand noodle business

(Top) Visitors looking at how yellow noodles are made. (Above) Hj Abdurahman Hj Nasir, penghulu of Mukim Labu. Picture: BT/Al-Haadi Abu Bakar, courtesy of MoHA

Monday, March 26, 2012

KG SENUKUH in Temburong hopes to catapult its government-backed noodle business towards market expansion through its participation in the Excellent Village Awards (AKC) this year.

As one of the 18 villages that was shortlisted for the finals this year, Kg Senukuh hopes to win the prize money from the competition which would aid in their expansion plans, as the current noodle production, known to the locals as Mee Kuning, only meets the demands within the district.

Hj Abdurahman Hj Nasir, penghulu of Mukim Labu and chairman of the village consultative council, said the village is now working hard to develop ways in maintaining quality, increasing quantity of production and enhancing product delivery to buyers as part of their plan to expand the market outside of the district.

"We hope to establish a reputation comparable to long established noodle manufacturers," he said.

The project, which is handled by the Kg Senukuh women's bureau village consultative council, began with a capital of about $5,000 when it was officially launched in 2009 and was aimed at making the village's women to be self-reliant.

Just a month after its launch, the village women not only own a noodle making machine, but also have reaped profit of more than $1,000.

The noodles are mainly supplied to restaurants and shops within the district, and are sold at $1.50 per kilogramme.

According to Hj Abdurahman, each member responsible in the production process of the noodles are skilled in their respective process, from mixing the ingredients to packaging.

The noodle venture has been selected by the village as its main product as part of its commitment to the "One Village One Product" initiative, a brainchild of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA).

Its participation in the AKC is a driving force in encouraging villagers to be committed and dedicated toward the successful and long-term implementation of the project.

"This is the second time we have participated and been shortlisted in the AKC at a national level. Though we have other products identified, such as homestay tourism and handicrafts, we want to really push the noodle production for the AKC as we have seen a lot of potential," he said.

He said the village is confident that the noodle production would evolve into a thriving venture in the village and the mukim, after an assessment on its production value was made by a committee from Japan showed positive results, and was encouraged by the committee to upgrade in its production rate and packaging.

"We have already made several applications through the MoHA to get approvals in providing us another facility for the production, as well as additional machinery which would help increase production," he added. At present, the production is mainly carried out at Kg Senukuh's village community hall.

Hj Abdurahman said that the OVOP initiative has changed the economic landscape of the village, as it has successfully provided jobs to three unemployed school-leavers, as well as enabled full-time housewives in the village to earn additional income.

The project has employed a total of 34 women. The Brunei Times

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