Bird nest industry target RM3.5 billion revenue by 2020

Caption: Swiftlet Industry is set to soar  Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin

By M. Izham B. Hashim & Amy Yee
PIctures by Oliver Majaham

Ranked among the world’s top bird nest producers, Malaysia aims to triple production to 870 metric tonnes worth RM3.5 billion by 2020.

In 2010, Malaysia produced 290 tonnes of bird nest products worth at least RM1.2 billion.

Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Yahya Hussin said swiftlet farming is a high-growth sector which holds great potential for development.

“The government recognises the industry as a key economic asset, which is identified under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP),” he said during his keynote speech at the certificate conferring ceremony for the best swiftlet farm practices (SALT) at the Sabah Oriental Hotel, on Tuesday. 

Sabah’s bird nest industry generated from RM 13 million to RM 17 million worth of export revenue annually, with main markets being China and Hong Kong.

Yahya said swiftlet farming was a very lucrative business, but after high levels of nitrate were detected by the Chinese authority in unprocessed bird nest products, market prices suffered a sharp drop.

According to news reports, traders lamented that stringent conditions and overproduction have caused prices to freefall from RM5,000 per kg to RM2,000 per kg.

In this regard, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry signed an agreement in October 2012 to meet optimal health and hygiene requirements in order to resume raw clean edible bird nest (EBN) exports into China.

Yahya assured farmers that the government is committed to help the industry transform Sabah into a major producer of high quality bird nest.

The SALT programme is a quality monitoring and control certification system which enables bird nest products destined for overseas market to be regulated to meet international standards.

“Presently, 43 farms have successfully obtained SALT accreditation. In addition, the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry (DOVSAI) is also planning to get another 300 farms certified” he told farmers and business owners at the certificate presentation ceremony.

Yahya urged all swiftlet farmers to register because only registered farmers would be allowed to export to the international market. 

Among those present at the ceremony were Deputy Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry Haji Jumahat Intang, Director of Sabah (DOVSAI) Dr Yeo Boon Kiat,  Datuk Basran Datuk Mansur Director of the Rural Development Corporation (KPD), Ms Norlida Daras Deputy Director of Food Safety and Quality from the Ministry of Health. - Insight Sabah 

More than 200 swiftlet farmers and business owners attended  the Best Swiftlet Farm Practices (SALT) seminar at the Sabah Oriental Hotel on Tuesday.

Posted on January 31, 2013

Malay 中文 Kadazan
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