INKED: Biotech firm signs agreement with seven farmers’ organisations for exclusive rights to collect birds’ nests for export to China
SEVEN Farmers' Organisation Authority Malaysia (LPP) have signed an agreement with Duta Sialin Biotechnology Sdn Bhd which has the exclusive rights to collect birds' nests from LPP and export them to China.
Duta Sialin vice-chairman Datuk Sia Swee Seng signed for the company while the seven collection centres in Pagoh in Johor, Tanjung Karang (Selangor), Gua Musang (Kelantan), Manjung Selatan (Perak), Bandar Baru (Kedah), Terengganu and Sabah were signed by their respective LPP chairmen.
LPP is responsible for buying the birds' nests harvested by the farmers and selling them to Duta Sialin, which deals directly with buyers in China.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar and State Agricultre and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
It was held at Dewan Dato' Onn at Maktab Rendah Sains MARA in Bakri, here, recently.
Noh said the agreement is aimed at ensuring the quality and safety of the birds' nests for consumption.
He said Malaysia is now one of the countries in Southeast Asia which has the right to export birds' nests direct to China. It also controls 20 per cent of the global market.
Noh said China is prepared to lift the ban on the export of Malaysia's birds' nests provided their nitrate content does not exceed 30 parts per million (ppm).
He said the good news was conveyed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak by his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, during their bilateral meeting recently.
Noh said the requirement imposed by the Chinese government would be conveyed to bird's nest traders in Malaysia.
He said the industry started in 1878 in Gua Niah, Sarawak. It is now a national income earner for the country.
Noh said the agriculture sector contributed RM40.7 billion to the country's gross domestic product in 2010, as compared with RM30.6 billion in 2000.
He said agro-food contributed RM18.9 billion for the sector in 2010 and is expected to grow to RM29.8 billion in 2020.
Meanwhile, Sia lauded the move by the Chinese government to lift the ban on the export of Malaysia's birds' nests, adding that this would expedite the growth of the industry.
He said his company would keenly promote the industry to ensure farmers obtain higher income.
Sia called on the LPP which had not signed up with the company to do so quickly.