Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Koternak invests RM80 mln in bird’s nest industry
by Irene C. Posted on December 18, 2011, Sunday
KUCHING: Livestock Breeders and Importers Co-operatives Malaysia Limited (Koternak) is investing RM80 million in Sarawak’s bird’s nest industry. Its chairman Jagjit Singh said this was because Sarawak produces the finest bird’s nests which are in demand.
“The industry is rife with business opportunities with the booming China economy and demand for bird’s nest,” Jagjit said at the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing ceremony between Koternak and Hai Huat Trading Sdn Bhd here yesterday.
However, the demand for bird’s nest in China has declined due to the presence of naturally occurring nitrate. Hai Huat Trading Sdn Bhd has bought technology from Singapore to remove the nitrate, said its CEO Dato Dr Vincent Ng. “The market for bird’s nest is in China and it used to sell at RM5,000 per kg but has dropped to RM2,500 to RM3,000 per kg due to the presence of nitrate. China has even banned its import. With the technology to remove the nitrate, we believe the industry will boom again,” said Dr Ng.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Datuk Mong Dagang who was there to witness the signing ceremony said the bird’s nest industry was a sunrise industry. Traditionally bird’s nests were collected from caves in Sarawak but now more of them are being collected from bird houses.
The last few years have seen a proliferation of these man-made bird houses in Sarawak, West Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to meet the growing demand. The industry is poised to grow from to strength to strength, said Mong who is also Bukit Begunan assemblyman. “I prefer the term ‘bird house’ rather than ‘bird hotel’ as I believe the investors want the birds to stay for good, not just temporarily. Bird houses are not cheap as they have to be carefully designed and built to specifications in strategic locations.”
“Under the laws in Sarawak, the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 and the regulations that bird houses may only be built in rural areas as the birds are noisy creatures and do not make good neighbours with their persistent droppings.” Mong praises Koternak for the foresight to venture into the bird’s nest industry.
Hai Huat Trading Sdn Bhd has been trading in bird’s nest and related products for the past 30 years. It has its own factory producing quality bird’s nest products for sale locally and in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and China. Also present were Hai Huat Trading Sdn Bhd management director Chua Pieng Hock and Gene Oasis Pte Ltd (Singapore) chairman and chief scientist Dr Lim Kah Meng.
Posted by asa at 5:29 PM