Integrated farming the way to go

Swiftlet farming industry has been creating much buzz in Malaysian agricultural industry for the past 5 years or so, which are geared towards the production of white edible birds nests.

Swiftlet Sanctuary Sdn Bhd is one of the companies which has been involved on this industry and explored more such avenue through integrated farming in Kota Tinggi, Johor.

According to Swiftlet Sanctuary’s CEO, Alfred Chong, swiftlet farming nowadays depends more on technology in order succeed compared to the days when swiftlet farmers relied on untamed birds.

“Many recent swiftlet farms have failed, because when they grow too fast, there might be a dearth in the amount of food that can be provided for the birds,” he said when met at the integrated farm in a rural village near Kota Tinggi.

He commented on the lucrative returns that can be garnered through swiftlet farming which provides the edible bird nests to the consumer market.

According to him at Swiftlet Sanctuary the approach towards the farming are more technological.

The birds are provided with sufficient nutrient everyday so that it does not have to fly far away in search for proper food for feeding, he added.

“The quality of the bird nests are better, and there is also less pollution because farms are located in more rural areas,” said Chong.

Swiftlet Sanctuary uses the method of integrated farming, where it also houses other forms of farming, such as organic vegetation, mushrooms, fisheries, breeding of bullfrogs and spayed chickens.

“Once they are spayed, these chicken eat even more food. As a result, their meat is fantastic,” said Chong referring to the spayed chicken, which he considers as another productive farming at Swiftlet Sanctuary.

The chickens, which feed on organic matters such as grass and corn, can be sold at close toRM80 per kilo during festive seasons- with each chicken weighing at around 10 kilos.