Friday, December 11, 2009

Swift exodus to Indonesia

By Anthony Joseph
Red tape blamed for estimated RM10 mln invested on swiftlets in Pontianak by local entrepreneurs

MIRI: Red tape in obtaining licence to rear swiftlets in the state is forcing operators to invest in Pontianak, Indonesia.“Their investments are now worth around RM10 million in Indonesia,” advisor to Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development Unit in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Adzmy Abdullah revealed yesterday. According to Adzmy, although Sarawak is the main producer of edible bird nest, the production is still very much behind those of Perak and Selangor.

“To date, the state has around 1,500 breeders or operators but they are not operating at home because of difficulties in obtaining the licence. Circumstances are forcing them to invest in Indonesia instead where procedures are relatively easier to fulfil,” Azmy said. “In this context, we urge the government, particularly Forestry Department, to reduce the redtape as incentive to encourage more locals to go into the industry here on home soil, thereby increasing the local production,” he added.

According to him, most of the breeders in the state are in Samarahan, Mukah, Sarikei and Miri.
On other development, Azdmy said the government had come up with guidelines to facilitate and encourage local participation in the industry. “There are big potentials in the industry because of their medicinal value especially in Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Asia Pacific. Middle East are now showing interest,” he added. According to Azmy, export value up to 2007 is around 150 metric tonnes, which is worth around RM750 million , while current market price is around RM3,500 to RM4,500 – depending on their grade.

The main producing countries are Indonesia (80 per cent) followed by Thailand and Malaysia.

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