Agriculture provides jobs for more than 60% of Myanmar’s population. However, a lack of infrastructure and technology, as well as the dependence of high interest loans for purchasing seed and fertilizer, impedes progress in this sector and farmers are locked into a cycle of poverty. And in the areas where opium is grown, this crop needs to be replaced by up scaling alternative development programs that provide a viable source of legitimate income.
Seed Banks - A low interest loan is offered to a targeted community so that the farmers in that community can collectively buy high quality seed and fertilizer.
Coffee for Opium - Several years ago communities in Shan State Myanmar were given the opportunity to plant coffee trees to replace opium but have been left with no way of processing and then selling their crop. This initiative gives farmers training in tree care and picking techniques to ensure a high quality crop, and also provides them with a market where the coffee cherries can be proceesed and sold.