Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wing Shen calls on govt for aid in bird’s nest sector

Wong poses with Wing Shen’s processed bird’s nest products.

Wong poses with Wing Shen’s processed bird’s nest products.

KUCHING: Wing Shen Food Industries Sdn Bhd (Wing Shen), an established bird’s nest manufacturing company, hopes for for Sarawak government assistance in encouraging the growth of bird’s nest farming industry.

According to managing director Wong Nguie Jin, there is a shortage of raw materials in Sarawak which needs to be addressed by the government.

Previously, Wong noted that Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) had conducted a course for bird’s nest farmers to build the farms (birdhouses) way back in 2007.

The course provided farmers with the techniques, support and knowledge necessary for them to build the birdhouses and ways to attract the swiftlets to come to nest in these buildings.

The course from JKM was planned and was considered a success as many farmers managed to harvest these raw materials and sell the goods to Wing Shen.

However, unprocessed bird’s nests is still short in supply given the huge demand for the finished products overseas.

As such, Wong hopes that the government can support this industry by encouraging farmers to join in the bird’s nest farming business. These can be subsidies for more training courses which can then be used for their food and accomodations during the course period.

“Income from these bird’s nest farming can incur up to even RM5,000 per month,” he said.

Wong stressed that this thriving industry can create more working opportunities for locals in Sarawak. Moreover, as this business has high earning potential, farmers who retire later will have less financial burden during their retirement.

Generally, Wong believed this industry can create more employment opportunities for locals in Sarawak.

“The working population will increase as when they have the farm, they will hire employees to help harvest the bird’s nests,” he explained.

As Wing Shen is involved in the downstream side of the bird’s nest industry, the company is also in need of employees as it relies more on manpower instead of machineries when processing the bird’s nests.

Currently, there are only three companies in Sarawak authorised to export to China, including Wing Shen. Two of these firms are in Kuching while the other is in Mukah.

These three companies are currently only able to supply 300 kilograms of bird’s nest per month to China, which Wong reiterates is not enough.

Malaysia’s supply of processed bird’s nest to China amounts to at least five tonnes per month.

“In Malaysia, in one month, we can only collect 20 to 30 tonnes of unprocessed bird’s nest which is still not enough,” he said.

Aside from China, which makes up 70 per cent of the company’s exports, Wing Shen also exports its products to Taiwan, Canada, US and Australia.

Borneo Post

Model of small scale swiftlet house measuring 12 x 24

Monday, January 9, 2017

Small Scale Swiftlet Ranching in the rural

This type of swiftlet premises measuring 12'x24'x16' high is capable of producing 1 kg edible nest per month. Project started in year 2010 and by 2017, production increase steadily.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Price of raw unclean bird's nest may increase

Bird’s nest export prices are expected to quintuple after Malaysia inked a deal with China to ship raw edible nests to the People’s Republic.

Malaysia’s deal with China, said Malaysia’s Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, could bring about RM1.5 billion (US$340,456,560) in profits to the local bird’s nest industry, but this could also mean the price for the product for local consumption may increase.

The deal, called Protocol of Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements for the Exportation of Raw, Uncleaned, Edible Bird’s Nest, is everything the name suggests.

The protocol sets standards for Malaysia’s 10,000 bird’s nest farmers to sell their raw product to the ministry, which will then export it untouched to China, where it will be processed and cleaned in Qinzhou and then sold to the Chinese market.

Malaysia has a RM22 million (US$4,993,363) joint quarantine, processing and testing plant with China in the Qinzhou Industrial Park.

China banned imports of bird’s nests from Malaysia in 2011 after finding nitrate in some of the nests.

“Everything will go through us and we will make sure this will be certified under standards we agreed on with China,” Ahmad Shabery said in the Parliament lobby yesterday.

He said when China imposed the ban, the price of Malaysia’s bird’s nest dropped from RM8,000 (US$1,815.80) per nest to less than RM1,000 (US$227.20) and this put constraints on local farmers.

“This deal gives a good message with the possibility of boosting our price to RM3,000 (US$680.80) or maybe even RM5,000 (US$1,134.60),” he said.

There are about 20,000 registered bird’s nest farms in the country and each requires an investment of up to RM300,000 (US$68,091.30) from the farmers.

A hike in the price for their product would ensure the survivability of the industry, Ahmad Shabery said.

During a question-and-answer session in Parliament with Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (Umno-Lenggong), Ahmad Shabery also discouraged farmers from trying to process bird’s nest themselves, as the results could be disastrous in terms of quality control.

“Now we have a platform to do everything legally that fulfils quality standards, so what happened three-years ago won’t happen again,” he said.

Malaysia produces about 300 metric tonnes of bird’s nest annually.