Swiftlet Farming To Boost Economy Of ECER States

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) — Swiftlet farming is expected to be one
of the main contributors to the economy of the East Coast Economic Region
(ECER) states with Kelantan now emerging as second largest swiftlet farmer
after Perak.
As of June 2004, there are 300 birds’ nests located in Kelantan, especially in
Kota Baharu, Tumpat, Rantau Panjang and Pasir Mas.
Other swiftlet farms within the ECER are located at Kampong Air Papan in
Mersing, Kuala Besut, Kuala Terengganu, Tok Soboh, and Kampung Pinang, all
in Terengganu, and Rompin and Pekan in Pahang.
Nespure Birdsnest Sdn Bhd’s managing director Ng Ching Phock said swiftlet
farming, apart from offering jobs opportunities to the Kelantanese, has also
become a new industry to generate the state’s economy.
With its own outlet and swiftlet farm in Kota Baharu, Nespure Birdsnest markets
the birds’ nest products directly at its outlet and sells to third parties.
“Locally harvested birds’ nests are among the world’s best in quality and are in
demand from the international market, either raw or processed,” Ng said.
“At Nespure Birdsnest, Muslim workers are employed to collect, clean, process
and select quality birds’ nests by using traditional methods,” he said.
Bio Research Centre (M) Sdn Bhd, one of Perak’s largest swiftlet farmers, is also
exploring swiftlet farming in Mersing, Kota Baharu, Kuantan and Rompin.
“Since the production of commercially harvestable quantities of edible birds’
nests started to grow in 1998, more and more SME (small and medium
enterprise) businessmen, landlords and investors have begun to realise the
financial viability of the swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia,” said its managing
director Loke Yeu Loong.
The swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia has been growing by leaps and bounds
over the last eight years, said a statement from the ECER secretariat.By end of 2006, there were nearly 36,000 swfitlet farms throughout the country
with an average annualised growth rate of 35 percent per year.
Malaysia is currently the world’s third largest producer of edible birds’ nests with
seven percent of gross supply value, behind Indonesia at 60 percent and
Thailand at 20 percent.