Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bird's nest farmers want assurance

BUTTERWORTH: The assurance by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry that China had agreed to lift the mandatory use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on bird's nests exports has failed to convince many local swiftlet farmers.

Some 50 representatives from various swiftlet farmers' associations nationwide said they would not believe it until they saw the assurance in black and white.

The group is now demanding to see the contents of the protocol of entry concerning the export of bird's nests before the agreement is signed between Malaysia and China in Nanning on Sept 20.

The representatives were from Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Selangor, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak.
"Why do we need to trace every single material from the different farms that goes into the production of bird's nests?

"It would make us less competitive while burdening us with higher cost," said Dr Ho Boon Cha, a representative from Perak.

He said the bird's nest industry was worth RM20 billion and Malaysia was a top global producer before it lost out to Indonesia.

Chinese authorities, in relaxing the RFID tags rule, still want Malaysia to manage the traceability of bird's nests, right from the farms.

Read more: Bird's nest farmers want assurance - General - New Straits Times

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