By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH
The project, undertaken by Sialin Holding Sdn Bhd. was formed by a group of businessmen and the swiftlet nest production centre comprises some 40 units of shoplots in four buildings.
Sialin chairman Datuk Saipolbahari Suib said each unit in the three-storey building costs RM530,000 while the ones in the four-storey blocks were priced at RM750,000.
He said participants in the bird nest project invested a total of RM33mil to purchase all the units, which was converted into swiftlet nesting area.
“This is the first commercially set up swiftlet nesting project in Johor and we expect to harvest between 200kg and 250kg of bird nests in the initial stages.
“Since the site is located near Gunung Ledang we hope to attract swiftlets from around the mountain,” he said at the opening of Taman Burung Walit Payamas by Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar recently.
Saipolbahari said the project was mooted by Noh and several businessmen in the state, including in Ledang and Muar had decided to set up a company for the purpose of bird’s nest production.
He said the company also planned to set up a cleaning, processing and grading centre within the bird park as it wanted to produce high-quality nests.
During the launch, Noh urged the company to focus on the quality of the nests as the highest grade fetched about RM8,000 per kilo.
He said Sialin Sdn Bhd should also become an anchor company to the surrounding villagers and help them with all the necessary needs, including technical expertise.
“The swiftlet industry is a lucrative business and we want all, including the poor villagers, to get involved,” he added.
SOURCE: THE STAR, JANUARY 19, 2011