History of Swiftlet Ranching
The “Bird House” phenomenon is not confined only to Malaysia’s old houses. It started fortuitously a few hundred years ago in Indonesia. Legend has it that in the 1880s, a penniless farmer called Sukarnoma left his village for several years to seek his fortune. Upon his return, he was surprised to find that swfitlets that produce edible nests had made his dilapidated house their home.
Sukarnoma was well aware of the value of the bird’s nests. Since swiftlets that normally dwell in caves had decided to settle in his old house, he belived that God must have bestowed upon him the good fortune. He thus decided to leave the house to the birds and stay elsewhere. That was how the first “Bird House” came about.
Presently, edible bird’s nest producing countries are in South-East Asia, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand Producing more than 95% of the world’s production.
In Indonesia, custom- built ranching farms have been around for more than 100 years. However the haze caused by forest clearing in Indonesia 20 years ago drove away the Swiftlets and they found new homes on Malaysian soil. Since then, custom-built swiftlet farms have begun to mushroom and bird’s nest production started increasing steadily.
The Promising Future
With an improving economy comes better lifestyles and this in turn leads to an increased demand for health and nutritional supplements. The current demand for edible bird’s nests from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, japan, South Korea, India and the Middle Eastern countries is rising. Moreover, as more bird’s nest products surface in the market, namely beauty and skincare products, supplements, traditional Chinese medicine as well as health products, the future of the bird’s nest industry looks more than promising with a surge of interest in its related products.
Malaysia is one of the major producers of edible bird’s nest, with swiftlet ranching flourishing, and the number of bird houses increasing. And the price of edible bird’s nest rising, the export prospects are great.
As Malaysia seizes this opportunity and efficiently develops this industry, edible bird’s nest will surely bring huge foreign exchange into the country.
Currently, bird’s nest producttion has reached 375 tonnes with a retail value surpassing the RM1.5 billion mark. As there is still room for further expansion, the government has plans to develop this industry in a systematic manner, According to the Ministry of Agriculture & Agro Based Industry, it hopes to achieve a target of 100,000 bird houses by 2020 with a total production of RM5 billion worth of edible bird’s nests. This endeavour will be headed by both the private and public sectors
The first licensed swiftlet ranching farm developed by the Group is in Manjung, Perak. This is a joint venture with the Perak State Development Corporation and was completed in 2009. It is the first of its kind to be awarded the Good Animal Husbandry Practice (GAHP) certificate in Malaysia. Ranching activities have started and the result achieved is very encouraging.
Swiftlet Eco Park Holdings Sdn. Bhd. is the pioneer in adopting nanotechnology in the Swiftlet Industry in line with its vision to increase the value of Edible Bird’s Nest through research and development. The use of Internet of Nano Things includes implementing Nano Photovoltaic (NPV) system and Nano Sensor Technology in our eco parks in Setiu and Belara, Kuala Terengganu.