Palawan is looking to adopt Malaysia’s bird’s nest production techniques in a bid to increase local production and maximize income potentials for local gatherers.
Vicente Lao, BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BEBC) chair, said they are tapping experts from Malaysia that will teach locals to apply the new technology called “ranching” to manage the swiftlets.
Ranching is said to be widely practiced in Malaysia and Indonesia.
“We are just in the initial stage, we already sent the experts and they have already submitted their proposals na viable ‘yong project dahil meron tayong species ng birds,” Lao said.
“Next step is to increase the population para dumami sila. Ngayon kasi hindi sila masyadong marami kasi wala naman paglagyan ng nest, naghahanap pa ng mga butas-butas dyan sa bundok,” he added.
Through the new technology, El Nido edible nest gatherers will be trained not only to harvest but to also increase the population of the swiftlets that produce them.
Lao said that developing an export commodity will have a great impact in the economy of Palawan as it will benefit the gatherers, businessmen, and the individuals arranging the exportation.
“Even these farmers who are not doing it now, we can train them to do it. It is just a matter of keeping the house in order, there’s a technology for that, medyo behind lang tayo but Malaysia and Indonesia are doing that already,” he said.
Lao said that even if Palawan is just beginning to adopt to the new technology, it can still catch up as long as major buyer China is there.
“For as long as China is there, China will be buying these things, Palawan can still catch up. Experts will come from Malaysia, Malaysia has been helping us, there are two countries that are advanced on that, it just so happened that Malaysia is nearer so we tap Malaysia,” he said.