ALOR SETAR, Dec 27 (Bernama) -- Its brand may not be well known, but the “belacan” (shrimp paste) produced by a local entrepreneur, and sold under the brand name “Sinar”, has become the choice of many Malaysian chefs in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Also known as “belacan Alor Ibus”, it is produced by a woman entrepreneur, Rodiyah Hashim , from Kampung Alor Ibus in Kuala Kedah.
The “Sinar” brand shrimp paste is not only sought after by Malaysian chefs in the Holy land, but also chefs and cooks in other parts of the world to meet the palate of their customers, especially for Malaysian cuisine.
Rodiyah, 55, said her shrimp paste is used by most Malaysian chefs in Makkah in the preparation of food for Malaysians who are on the Holy land for the haj pilgrimage or umrah.
She said she started making shrimp paste 21 years ago to earn extra income to help her husband, Sudin Bakar, 55, who was then a lorry driver.
BELACAN-SINAR 2 ALOR SETAR
"Life was difficult then. My children were still schooling, while my husband only received a salary of RM1,200 a month as a trailer lorry driver. It was then that I decided to apply for the Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia loan as capital to start the belacan business.
"I started with a capital of RM2,000,making the shrimp paste manually, and then going from house to house to sell it, and also at the market,” she said when when met at her house today.
Rodiyah said her perseverance and hard work paid off.
“There was high demand for my shrimp paste and as the business flourished, I was able to save enough to buy a machine produce the shrimp paste in larger quantity.,” she said, adding that she also used the Internet to promote her product.
She was now able to reap sales of up to RM30,000 a month through her shrimp paste business.
BELACAN-SINAR 3 (LAST) ALOR SETAR
Rodiah said she used about four metric tonne of shrimps daily to make the paste.
“I get my supply of shrimps daily from Kuala Selangor, Selangor,” she said, adding that she now has a few workers, with her children also helping out with the business.
The shrimp paste is produced in various sizes and the price is between 80 sen and RM5 per piece.
In view of the high demand for the shrimp paste, Rodiyah now plans to have her own drying store, which is hoping to build near her house.
TAG: shrimp paste, Alor Ibus, Mekah, Sinar, demand