BOGOR, Indonesia – Songbird enthusiasts in Indonesia are helping boost the growth of ant farming, as a farm in Bogor, south of Jakarta, sells large quantities of larvae from weaver ants, which birds eat.
This farm employs about 10 workers who tend to hundreds of glass jars filled with ants who build up colonies inside them, an epa journalist reported.
The farm sells the ants’ larvae to customers for $40 per kilogram.
“We do this because it’s very profitable,” said Toto, the farm owner.
“After we collect the larvae, we have to wait for the ants to make new larvae. We weigh them before selling,” he added.
The farm keeps the jars in a dark room, a condition that is natural for the ants.
The process of the ants producing larvae takes between one week and one month, before dozens of songbird enthusiasts and songbird shop staff visit the farm to buy from half a kilogram to 5 kg on a daily basis.
Songbirds are a big industry in Indonesia, contributing more than $80 million per year to its economy through the sale of songbirds as pets.