I was one of the selected speaker during the Seminar.
My topic was on "Strategies On How To Have A Successful BH".
I was informed that two years ago my name was suggested by one of the committee member however was not approved.
This time around my name was again proposed and it was well accepted.
Very thankful to the organizing committee for approving my name.
Basically this Seminar was held in conjunction with MAHA exhibition and it was the second of its kind.
There were as many as 21 papers presented and one was from me.
Most of these papers were on the downstream and 4 were about the upstream.
Currently 8 companies were approved to do so.
There is very strong possibilities that the two Governments (Malaysia and China) will allow raw nests to be exported into China.
Main reason being the cost to process raw nests in China is cheaper as compared to doing it in Malaysia.
One very interesting proposal by Dato Tok Teng Sai, the current Patron of Federation of Malaysia Bird Nests Merchants Association, was on how the Government should intervene in the raw nests pricing.
There is no benchmark on swiftlet nests pricing and is causing many investors to worry everyday.
His idea was to set up a buying center so that BH owners will be able to sell to a approved collection center and at a price that are controlled by the Government.
He has submitted this proposal to the Agriculture Minister and he hope the Agricultural ministry to start the ball rolling to come out with the mechanics on how to implement the idea.
Another very encouraging idea was to sell the Halal birdnests to Chinese Muslim communities in China.
There are 100 million Muslim in China and some serious effort should be done to help the Malaysian swiftlet industries to reach these Chinese.
One very interesting paper which I really love to listen was given by Professor Dr. Mustafa Abdul Rahman of UMS Sarawak.
His topic was on The Swiftlet roosting and nest making behaviors.
His studies gives us some interesting conclusions:
1) During nest making the male birds seems to be the hard working guy.
2) Both male and female will carry out the nest building but the male are more hard working. The male seems to work twice harder as compared to the female bird.
3) These young couple will normally perform the nest building during three important hours of the day. They will start as early as 6:00 am - 7:00 am (Sarawak time), 7:00 am till 10:00 am and finally when they return home from their feeding time ie at 18:00 till 19:00.
4) The most interesting observation was during the post emergence hours i.e 7:00 am - 10:00 am. They will fly out to eat for a short while but will return back to resume the nest building until 10:00 am. After which they will fly out hunting for food.
I managed to corner Dr Mustafa just after his speech and asked him the following:
1) When do the couple start their copulation? Was it when the nests was about to be build or half way or upon completion?
He cannot provide me with the right answer since it was not in his main objective.
He promised to review those video clips and perhaps give me the answer.
I told him that Fatick Marzuki of Indonesia indicated that the moment the nest is ready the female bird will start to make a love call to be copulated.
2) Did he recorded the sounds made by the couple during nest building? I was curious on how the sound was like.
He did not but maybe in the future he will install are recorder.
3) During his introduction he showed a slide with the angle where his camera was focusing at. My question to him was where those birds prefer to locate their nests. Was it at the straight plank or at the 90* corners?
He could not answer this question too since he did not carry out the specific observation.
4) Are these swiftlet monogamous or polygamous?
His cannot give me the specific answer but hinted that there is a possibility that they are polygamous. However there must be some specific study to confirm this.
5) I also touch about those feathers usually found on raw nests. Are these feathers intentionally embedded onto the nests or accidentally?
Again he was not able to answer my query accurately.
I told him what those feathers might be for and he nodded his head when I explain why these feathers were there in the first place. They were for scene marking. Both male and female need to know which nest belongs to them so they use their feathers to identify it.
Overall I am very pleased with the Seminar.
Three of my blog followers (Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei) joined the Seminar and we have some good time talking about how they started their involvement in swiftlet farming.
I am looking forward for the next EBNIC.