Vietnam promotes bird’s nest farms
VN has huge potential in swift-nest production

A building housing swift nests in Binh Giang Commune, Hon Dat District of the southern province Kien Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Le Huy Hai

Hanh spoke at a meeting held last week in HCM City to discuss solutions for sustainable development of farming swiftlets in southern cities and provinces.

Farming swiftlets for their edible bird nests had developed in an uncoordinated manner, she said.

“The lives of local residents around swift houses could be affected by the noise of birds and machines used to attract them,” she said.

As of October, the country had more than 14,350 swift houses in 42 cities and provinces, mostly in the southern region.

The number of swift houses sharply increased by 88.5 per cent compared to 2017.

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang has the largest number of 2,245 swiftlet farming facilities.

About 68 tonnes of birds’ nest were exported in 2018. Major export markets include Hong Kong, China, the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Experts said that Vietnamese bird's nest has a higher quality compared to those from other countries, Hanh said.

“But exporting bird's nest as raw material and through unofficial trading channels brings low value and profits,” she said.

Mai The Hao, deputy head of the Southern Animal Husbandry Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said local authorities should have plans for swiftlet farming strategy areas to minimise the negative impact.

HCM City, and Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Ninh Thuan and Tien Giang provinces had zoned areas for swiflet farming.

“More strict management and long-term plans in farming swifts are necessary for the industry’s sustainable growth,” he said.

Expanding the effective models of swiftlet farming, regulations about specifications and standards, and assessment of environmental impact of the swift houses are also needed.

According to Do Tu Quan, head of the Vietnam Swiftlet Farming Association, the demand for swiftlet nests is forecast to increase in the coming time. China is the largest import market for edible bird's nest.

“Swift breeders should improve the quality of their bird's nest to meet export demands,” she said.

Creating close linkages between bird nest production companies, swiftlet farming associations and swift breeders were needed.

“Promoting official trade will help raise the export value of Vietnamese bird's nest,” she said.

Last year, the country provided nearly 200 tonnes of birds’ nest for both domestic and foreign markets.

The swift-breeding industry is expected to achieve revenue of about VND3 trillion ($129 million) next year, and reach VND6 trillion ($258 million) annually in the following years.

“Building the swiftlet farming developing strategy would play an important role in promoting the industry,” she said.

In addition, promoting brands of Vietnamese birds’ nest products, further investing in technology to product processing, and building bird's nest production chains were also needed. — VNS