Friday, April 18, 2014

Borneo Samudera seedling at 6 years

Borneo Samudera seedling at 6 years after field planting. I think these palm need more fertilizer because my FFB production was less satisfactory only about 5-10 ton per hectare.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oil Palm Mushroom for Empty Bird House

How about using empty oil palm fruit bunch materials as alternative substrates for the cultivation of Pleurotus pulmonarius inside ground floor of bird house? This may be a good solution to utilize empty bird house. The micro-climate inside is suitable for mushroom cultivation.

Although China has officially lifted its ban on bird's nest imports from Malaysia, after a two-year freeze, the price of EBN still very low.

Agricultural and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the approval letter from China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine was received on Dec 25.

He said Malaysia was the only country given the approval to export bird's nest to China.

He said, so far, eight companies have been given the approval to export the product.

"There are 13 more companies still waiting for approval," he told reporters here Thursday.

It was reported in June that China had granted a "conditional pass" for nine companies to commence export of the delicacy to the republic.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Local raw bird's nest prices expected to recover following lifting of ban

By Jack Wong, The Star.

KUCHING: Local raw bird’s nest prices are expected to recover with higher demand following China’s lifting of the ban on the import of the delicacy from Malaysia.

Sarawak Bird’s Nest Import and Export Association president Liu Thian Leong said with China resuming the import of bird’s nest products, this would help to boost the country’s exports.

“With more exports, the prices of the domestic unprocessed bird’s nest will definitely recover gradually from current levels,” he told The Star yesterday.

He said association members, who numbered more than 100, had been exporting processed bird’s nest to Peninsular  Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, USA  and Taiwan although the volumes had declined due to slower sales.

According to Liew, the raw bird’s nest produced by local farmers currently fetch between RM1,000 and RM2,000 per kilo depending on their grades.

This is a far cry from the good time of as high as RM5,000 per kilo transacted before China imposed the ban in July-2011 following the discovery of nitrite in Malaysian cleaned bird’s nest.

He said top grade raw bird’s nest could recover to RM3,000 per kilo if China permitted the import of the unprocessed nest as well.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysia was the only country given the approval to export bird’s nest to China and that the approval letter from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine was received on Christmas Day.

Ismail said eight (none from Sarawak) out of the nine companies which were granted a “conditional pass” to export the delicacy to China in June last year had fulfilled the stringent requirements after further auditing by the authorities in China to commence exporting.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to launch the first consignment for China soon.

Liew said one Sarawak-based company, which had earlier received tentative approval to export bird’s nest products to China, could not make it as it had failed to comply with certain exports requirements. They re-submit their application with other two processing plants and waiting to be audit soon.

He is aware that several more Sarawak companies had applied to have their bird houses inspected by officials from China as a prerequisite to export.

According to Liew, long ago the association members relied on importing raw bird’s nest from Sabah and Indonesia besides those harvested from Niah and other caves in Baram for processing in the early years due to lack of supply in Sarawak ( for black nest from caves)

Raw bird’s nest production volume from caves has declined in recent years due to over-harvesting activities which would hurt the industry in the long term.

“However, they are importing much less now as some of them have set up their own swiftlet farms and due to the ban from China” he added.

Motivated by the lucrative returns, many Sarawakians have in recent years ventured into swiftlet breeding as evident by the mushrooming of bird houses, including specially-built shophouses (eco park) in various parts of Sarawak.

Liew said in the past, Sarawak was famous for the centre of bird’s nest processing and the learning centre for Indonesians but the state was now lagging behind Peninsular Malaysia in the development of swiftlet farming due to aggrasive strategies by the west Malaysia and friendly policy as stated in the Garis Panduan 1GP with is not adopted by the state government due to the existing Wild   life Protection Ordinance 1998.

As there is yet one-stop centre being established to deal with licensing of swiftlet farms, those wishing to venture into the industry have to obtain approvals from various agencies, including Forest Department, Land & Survey Department, Health Department as well as the local authorities. 

Licencing of bird's nest farming is currently under Forestry Department while processing plant licencing is under Veterinary Division, Department of Agriculture together with  registration and certification of swiftlet farm for Sijli Amalan Ladang Ternakan (SALT). Department of Veterinary Services  will certified those processing plant with Veterinary Health Mark (VHM) if they meet the minimum requirement of HACCP and GMP.

“Many farmers have applied for licences from the Forest Department to build bird houses on agriculture land but their applications have been turned down due to not meeting the stringent guideline,” said Liew, adding that in Peninsular Malaysia, the Veterinary Department is the leading acency.

He urged the state authorities to strealime and relax the procedures related to the application, approval, construction and operation of swiftlet farms, adding that the move would help boost the development of the industry and generate more revenue for Sarawak.

“With licences, investors could get funding from banks in their venture into swiftlet breeding activities while the authorities could regulate and keep records of swiftlet farms in the state and traceabilty for safe and quality bird nest product,”

Liew said the association had no accurate information on the number of swiftlet farms in Sarawak, reportedly to be in the thousands, and their combined annual production volumes because not all producer registered with them.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A step up for bird’s nest trade

As Indonesia looms over Malaysia’s export monopoly to China, suppliers may want to bolster their positions while they still can.

THE bird’s nests ban lift has been greeted with much enthusiasm by both Malaysian and Chinese industry players.

Effective Dec 25 last year, the ban on the bird’s nest imports was lifted, ending a two-year freeze.

The decision was announced in a statement issued by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Guangdong Swiftlet Nest Industry Association executive chairman Xu Bing said the much-awaited good news is the first step towards the healthy development of the bird’s nest industry.

The ban was put in place in late 2011 when cleaned bird’s nests from Malaysia were found to contain an excessive level of nitrite.

An alarming scandal blew up in Zhejiang in August 2011 when its industry and commerce bureau discovered that the average level of nitrate in 537 “blood nest” samples was 4,400mg/kg, far exceeding the national cap of 70mg/kg.

Most of the bird’s nests were said to originate from Malaysia. The news was a serious blow to the swiftlet industry in Malaysia, which has seen a boom in commercial swiftlet farming in recent years.

Legitimate exporters cried foul over the claim, blaming the tainted bird’s nests on dishonest businessmen, but the damage had been done.

While the ban has also taken a toll on the industry in Guangzhou, where many bird’s nests wholesalers are based, Xu regarded the ban as a blessing in disguise.

“Personally, I feel the ban has flushed out unscrupulous vendors and forced all to ponder on the development of the industry,” he said.

According to the new approval, the bird’s nests must now be packaged and labelled with details including the names and registration numbers of the swiftlet house and the processing company.

As such, consumers can check the authenticity of the products, and problems can be traced back to the responsible party.

“Customers can expect good value for money for bird’s nests because the quality of the product is safeguarded under new regulations,” Xu said.

In early December, representatives from the Malaysian and Chinese bird’s nests industries met in Kuala Lumpur.

Both sides have agreed to be law-abiding and responsible while working towards achieving mutual benefit.

Although Malaysia is currently the only country with the approval to export bird’s nests to China, Xu said Indonesia might soon be given the approval as well.

Therefore, he advised Malaysian merchants to grab the opportunity now to establish business ties with Chinese dealers.

During the two-year hiatus, Malaysia was actively engaged in talks with Chinese authorities, including the AQSIQ and Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission, to revive imports.

In September 2012, Malaysia and China signed a protocol on bird’s nests entry into China, which touched on the aspects of examination, quarantine and hygiene.

Fifteen Malaysian companies submitted their applications to export their bird’s nests to China in March last year. They were subjected to evaluation by Chinese authorities.

Nine gained the conditional pass in June but only eight of them were given the final approval – Sunshine Region Sdn Bhd, PT Swiftlet Marketing Sdn Bhd, Tian Ma Bird Nest Sdn Bhd, Kuan Wellness Sdn Bhd, Fucifagus Agritech Sdn Bhd, Yan Ming Resources Sdn Bhd, Golden Mah Bird’s Nest Sdn Bhd and Yen Pao Lai (M) Sdn Bhd.

Malaysian Bird’s Nest Importers and Exporters Association chairman Puah Boon Choon said the industry suffered huge losses following the ban since 80% of the bird’s nests from Malaysia were exported to China.

To step up their reputation as responsible suppliers, Puah said the Malaysian companies have invested in better equipment and employee training, among others.

“The traceability of the bird’s nests produced in Malaysia, coupled with inspections by the Veterinary Services Department and Health Department, can help win back customers who have shied away from the delicacy,” he said.

While Guangdong-based Nanfang Daily reported that Chinese merchants had hoped to bring in the first batch of bird’s nests to China before the Chinese New Year, Puah said the products would most probably reach China in March.

“Our Chinese counterparts have begun to contact the eight companies for the necessary documents for import permit applications,” he said.

Puah said the eight Malaysian companies would face a sudden increase in orders but they would supply the bird’s nests to China according to their capability.

“There are 13 more companies applying for the export permit,” he said

Star Online

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The difference between A. Maximus and A. Fuciphagus

The difference between A. Maximus and A. Fuciphagus are;

1. A. Maximus build edible nest in the cave and lay one egg. A. Maximus edible nest resemble more feathers which make it dark in colour and more tedious to clean. Base on my observation A. Maximus swiftlet will never build their edible nest inside man made house.

2. A. Fuciphagus swiftlet lay 2 eggs. Their edible nest contains less feather and appear more clean and white due the fact that they build their nest in the clean environment. Example Meranti wood plank.