FLC’s early agricultural development projects involved helping a few villages to stop growing poppies for opium production and switch to growing coffee or tea. Coffee and tea offer more income without the intrusion of drug merchants into the village. Villagers who grow these products maintain a better quality of life.
FLC’s long-time outreach director, Yingmoey manages ten acres of rubber trees in east Thailand. FLC purchased the land and paid for the trees and fertilizer. Yingmoey’s team does the growing. The trees take five to seven years before they can be tapped. Next year, Yingmoey’s team will begin harvesting the latex substance to sell. They have grown rice on the property waiting for the trees to mature. The profits will be shared evenly to support FLC’s other projects, and allow Yingmoey to increase her outreach to the Mien people in the region.
Rice for Life
In Burma, our outreach team purchases farmland to grow rice and vegetables, or lease to growers. Funded by some of our Canadian partners, we refer to the program as Rice for Life. The revenue earned from the farmland provides income for FLC’s Burma staff and improves their self-sufficiency. In 2012, one of our outreach partners died unexpectedly, already a widower, the man’s orphaned children are still able to support themselves thanks to Rice for Life.
Ministry partner, Wayside Church, purchased an elephant in 1994. The elephant helps fell and haul trees to a saw mill in Putao, Burma. Outreach staff and students work the saw mill to earn income. The wood from the saw mill is used to build homes in the Kachin state.