Tuesday, December 8, 2009
New Sabah Times Dated November 26th 2009 !!!
Something which I was waiting for.
I remembered being interviewed by some reporters after presenting my papers to about 79 participants during my last trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
At last I found it on the Internet:
Found at: http://ip-174-142-62-49.static.privatedns.com/index.php/New-Sabah-Times/sabah-in-epicentre-of-regions-swiftlets-distribution.html
Kota Kinabalu - The State government should seriously consider tapping into the State's vast potential of becoming a leading edible bird's nest producer in the region.
This is because Sabah is located in the ‘epicentre' of the region's swiftlets distribution, coupled with its unspoiled natural environment which provides plenty of food for the swiftlets. Sabah is also home to some of the most productive and quality bird's nest caves in the region, such as the Gomantung and Madai Caves.
Suggesting this was renowned swiftlet farming consultant cum blogger Harry Kok or better known as ‘Pak Harry' (inset), while speaking at the seminar on "Secret of Successful Bird House" organized by the Sabah Swiftlet House and Bird's Nest Industry Association (Swifin) here last Saturday.
Pak Harry, however, cautioned Sabah not to repeat the mistakes of the swiftlet farming industry in Peninsular Malaysia, which he described as ‘chaotic'.
"There's no proper guidelines and everyone becomes illegal (swiftlet farm operator) like those selling pirated VCDs," he noted.
He thus opined that the State government should sit down with Swifin to come out with a master plan on how to properly and effectively develop the swiftlet farming industry in Sabah.
"Since Sabah's swiftlet farming industry is still in the infancy stage, so it could start fresh. I want to encourage the State to develop proper regulations to attract investors from Peninsular Malaysia or overseas to invest in Sabah so that everybody can benefit.
"We must be able to come up with a master plan quickly as it would be a big revenue for the State. If we can come up with master plans for palm oil etc there shouldn't be a problem to come out with one for swiftlet farming," he articulated.
Presently, the main issue affecting the siwftlet farming operators in the State is the absence of proper Bylaws governing the industry, thus rendering most of them operating illegally, especially those conducted in the shop houses. This issue is currently being looked into by Swifin with the hope that the State government would eventually set up a special committee to deal with it.
Besides this, Pak Harry also emphasized on the importance of goal-setting in order to become a leading producer of edible birds' nests in the world, suggesting that Sabah should set a target of producing half a billion ringgit worth of birds' nests by 2020.
And to achieve this, he stressed that it is absolutely important for the aspirant swiftlet farmers to undergo the necessary training that would help equip them with all the necessary knowledge on swiftlet farming, in order to reduce the failure rate which he believes could be rather costly.
He thus said Swifin could play a significant role in this aspect by continuing to conduct relevant courses and talks to educate its members as well as those wishing to venture into swiftlet farming business.
A Mechanical Engineer by profession and a former employee of Petronas, Pak Harry's eyes were literally shining when he talked about the future outlook of the swiftlet farming industry. He was optimistic of its future especially when citing the ever increasing demand for edible birds' nests in the world, from China in particular, whose citizens had traditionally considered birds' nests an exquisite cuisine that reflects the status of those who could afford to consume it.
"With the rise of China as a world economic giant today, its population who could afford birds' nests is probably bigger than the population of Malaysia. On top of this, there's also report that even those in the Middle East countries are starting to consume birds' nests," he noted.
In addition to this, birds' nests are also much sought after by pharmaceutical companies to produce a wide range of pharmaceutical, health supplement and cosmetic products.
"Hence, the real issue here is not about market demand but whether we have enogh birds' nests to supply or not," he pointed out.
The other encouraging news is that the China government is giving a special preference to Malaysian birds' nests, as they are free from the bird flu.
Malaysia currently ranks third in the world birds' nests trade after Thailand and Indonesia.
"But our market share is still very small as we are only producing 8 per cent or RM2 billion of the world's production - RM18 billion per year," he said.
Pak Harry suggested that Sabah should also seriously consider going downstream instead of exporting the birds' nests in raw form in order to maximize profits from swiftlet farming.
"In China, a kilo of processed birds' nests is worth above RM20,000 or even 30,000 but the raw nest they purchase from us is just about RM4,000 per kg. So why can't we process and export to China directly.
This is one of the areas that we have to look at, how Sabah can make maximum profit. The State government could enact laws that require all birds' nests be first processed locally before they are allowed to be taken out from the state," he suggested.
He also noted that the potential and significance of siwftlet farming as revenue earner for the country is being duly recognized by the Federal government as reflected in the Budget 2010. -- Courtesy of New Sabah Times
My main objective to continue writing this blog on swiftlet farming is to expose everything that are relevant to those who wanted to get involve with the business.
I strongly believed that the only way to minimise failure is to get as much knowledge as possible before you invest in it.
If you feel that the lesson learned deserved an encouragement you can contribute a some donation to this account: Yayasan Kebajikan Nah Sabah, 100930010038410 at Allied Bank, Malaysia.