KAPIT: Stingless bee or kelulut farmers here have formed the Kapit Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Co-operative Berhad to safeguard the interests of the industry.
Co-operative Commission of Malaysia Kapit officer in charge Minah Sat recently handed over the certificate to chairman Watson Awan Jalai.
Also on the board are deputy chairman Empati Depa, secretary Martin Bilun, assistant secretary Johny Pasang, treasurer Jeffery Aba Djawie, assistant treasurer Johannes Bennet, as well as board members Rheineld @ Minor Panyau, Penghulu Madang Jelaini, Penghulu Pasang Tubah, Jarit Jamit, and Tuai Rumah Richard Engking.
When contacted, Martin said the co-operative applied to the commission in February.
He said the co-operative currently has over 50 members and others can also sign up for free.
Martin said the co-operative began business early this year with a farm at ulu Sungai Amang.
“The place is ideal because it is a fruit garden with great varieties of tropical fruits. We consider it quite successful because we have harvested trice on April 5, 16, and May 26. We are selling per bottle, 150ml, at RM50,” he said.
“I see great potential in this kelulut industry because this is not only an agricultural practice. It is money-earning because it is nutritious and environmentally friendly. There is great demand in the market because this is a supplement food, suitable for all ages.
“Myself, I take a spoon daily in the morning immediately when I wake up. After a while, I feel full of energy and alert the whole day long. That is the beauty,” he said.
Martin said presently the co-operative is concentrating on farmers involved in the kelulut industry.
“This is our pioneer project and, in future, once we are more established, we would consider opening our membership to farmers involved in vegetable and fruit gardening,” he added.