Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Demolition Of Swiftlet Farmhouses - Are We Killing Off An Industry At Its Infancy?

Swiftlet ranching is mushrooming all over Sarawak. In Sibu, swiftlet farmhouses have popped up here and there. In time to come, this may become a notable feature locally.

Swiftlet ranching has immense economic value. I understand that there is growing demand for birdnests from Hong Kong and China where prosperity have dramatically changed the pattern of life style. Luxurious foodstuffs like birdnests have tremendous markets not only externally but also domestically. This is the present growing trend.

Broadly speaking, swiftlet ranching is an agro-based industry. In time to come, with incentives and subsidisation, this industry has every potential to flourish into a viable economic activity. As such, the state government has obligation to step in to boost the growth of it.

But the incident two days ago in Mukah dismayed the operators of swiftlet ranching. According to the news, some officers from the Forestry Department, armed with sprays and equipment, demolished the swiftlet farmhouses.

Sarawak Swiftlets Ranching Merchant Association reacted fast with a strong protest, calling the move as shocking and a "daylight robbery".

The demolition exercise was tantamount to killing off an upcoming industry at its infancy. A more pro-active move would be to license the operators with regulations.

Let's get down to serious regulatory exercise to bring up this trade!


Anonymous said...

Swiftlet farming might be lucrative, but the linkhouses they are being housed in are not zoned as agricultural, not to mention the noise, mess & potential health hazards the neighbours.

Set up bird farms by all means, but in the proper areas - not in towns or cities.


Tony Hii said...

anonymous, you are precisely right - a proper regulatory framework is urgently needed.

Lai Lee said...

Health hazards are existent in all trades, even our local mamak shop. I do agree a proper framework is needed urgently ro regulate the swiftlet farming activities, and if everyone abides by said agreed regulations, it is entirely possible to set up bird houses in the town areas.

In my opinion, it's not so much the demolition of the swiftlet houses, rather it's the way that it was done that angered many.

Sidetracking, many have voiced out that these farms should be moved to the outskirts. It's easier said than done. The swiftlets are not chickens we can put in cages and physically move to a new place.

afd said...

complains are from jelaous neighbours . health concern is use to justify their crual and inhuman and shameful action. Hope the person who give the orders and the enforcment officers who distroy the lifelily hood of the swiftlets farmers and killing of thousands of baby birds will suffer the same fate of the baby birds they so inhumanly merdered. How can you look at your children and sleep well at nihgt.

Hawk said...

According to the expert, even in lucrative time 2 storey farms-
6 months 31 birdnest
5 years around 3,000 birdnest.

The farmhouse, rooftop storey, wouldn't not be housing that many birds as that area is barely more than 5 years old.

Regulations are already there, those ranchers are just plainly ignoring them.