Agrobank is going all out to woo budding and existing entrepreneurs to apply loans for its agriculture business projects which includes Walit's bird's nest business.
Agrobank managing director Datuk Ahmad Said said the bank launched a RM68 million loan scheme to boost the country's bird's nest business two months ago, of which only 41 business people applied with a total loan value of RM6.3 million.
"The harvesting of Walit's bird's nests has become one of Malaysia's primary commodity exports with a potential export value of RM1 billion a year," he said.
"There is plenty of opportunities due to strong demand from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan," Ahmad Said told reporters yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.
Under the bank's loan scheme, applicants can borrow from as low as RM10,000 to build a low-cost house and up to RM600,000 for a bungalow for the Walit to build their nests.
Ahmad said those venturing into the business will liase with the Department of Veterinary Services which will design the house and they need not worry over marketing as there are ready buyers.
Raw Walit bird's nest can fetch between RM3,000 and RM7,400 a kilogramme while the processed version can go between RM10,000 and RM18,000.
The loan, first of its kind in Malaysia, is open to Malaysians above 18 and carries an interest rate of 3.7 per cent.