KUCHING: Bird’s nest farmers and traders are very much against the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and have dismantled the devices in some farms.
Data from the RFID can show importers and relevant authorities where the nests were harvested or processed.
Sarawak Bird’s Nest Import and Export Association president Liu Thian Leong said they were very firm in refusing to allow RFID to be installed in their farms and even factories as they found it to be an unnecessary measure.
“There are already such cases occurring in Sarikei and Saratok where the farmers took apart the RFID which the Agriculture Department had installed in their swiftlet farmhouses,” he added.
He said although the government only required RFID to be installed at processing centres or factories following protests from the farmers and traders the requirement was still found to be unnecessary.
Presently, a consultative committee jointly formed by bird’s nest associations and representatives from Ministry of Agriculture is looking into the clauses of the Memorandum of Understanding which would be signed by Malaysia and China on Sept 23.
“One of the clauses is the requirement to install RFID which we strongly object to and negotiation
is still going on,” he said further.
He said the consultative committee was set up to foster better understanding between those involved in bird’s nest business and the government, especially the Agriculture Ministry.
“It also provides an avenue where the government can introduce its measures and regulations.
“And if bird’s nest farmers and traders find the measures or regulations not practical, they can also raise their opinion so that both parties can iron out the differences to come out with effective policies,” said Liu.