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Sarawak approves 488 bird’s nest farming licences

KUCHING, Nov 22 – The Sarawak state government has approved 488 bird’s nest farming licences as of October this year through the Sarawak Forestry Department, said Assistant Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh.

He said two types of licences are required for commercial bird’s nest farming based on the Wildlife Protection (Edible Birds’ Nests) Rules, 2006 – a licence to build, erect, maintain or set up a building or structure for a swiftlet farm, and a licence to rear the swiftlets that produce edible bird’s nests.

“The holder of these licences is not restricted to exporting edible bird’s nest products to China, which now requires all exporters, including from Malaysia, to use radio frequency identification tags to ensure high quality,” he said at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting at Petra Jaya here today.

Replying to a question from Wong Ho Leng (DAP-Bukit Assek) and Fong Pau Teck (DAP-Pujut), he said revenue from the 20,628 kg of bird’s nest products from 2007 to 2011 totalled RM77.9 million.

Current market price is RM3,000 to RM10,000 per kg depending on quality and grade, up from about RM2,000 per kg in 2011, when revenue was RM4.1 million from a production of 2,026 kg, he said.

In 2011 and 2012, he said, the government through the Agriculture Department and Sarawak Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) allocated RM580,000 to e-Kasih participants to enter the industry. – Bernama

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