“I’m already there!” says Ted Olbrich, discussing raising the “Matching Grant” of $750,000US for the rice farm development. The only thing is I’ve only raised about 1/3 of the needed $750,000.00. But in my heart it is a done deal. I will need some very real help from you to get there. It must be done by March first. We plan to begin by developing the existing land as we are able and then expand it to supply the needs of FCOP. We are now harvesting our “Heavy Rice.” It is the very long season (9 months from seeding to harvest) but it looks like it will yield close to 4 tons per hectare, which is good for that variety. But with the developments we shall preform we will switch to the short season, high yielding Jasmine Rice.
Here are a few facts as to why FCOP needs to get this project done!
FCOP CAMBODIAN RICE PRODUCTION ENTERPRISE FACT SHEET
- Since 1999 FCOP has raised 18,000 separated, abandoned and orphaned children at some point in their lives. 100% have come to know Christ. Over 5,000 churches and home groups have been planted, many pastored by former FCOP Church Community Home residents.
- FCOP currently cares for about 2,500 separated children and widows. Widows become the primary parent figures and caregivers at the rate of one per five children. Pastors serve as surrogate fathers.
- Cost of raising children in Cambodia has doubled since 1999. FCOP has to rely upon foreign donations to continue its work. A local source of revenue is needed to sustain the work.
- 65% of Cambodians are involved in rice production, most of them at a subsistence level. This is not sustainable. Rice is always in demand. FCOP consumes more than two metric tons per day. By raising rice the FCOP children would have a food source and the ability to produce revenue.
- Subsistence Farmers must learn to pool assets and work together to go from one low yielding crop per year to three high yielding crops per year. This requires a working model and trusted leadership. Local people don’t trust the government. Yet, they trust FCOP because they raised their homeless children.
- Normally, subsistence farmers only raise one rice crop per year yielding about two metric tons per hectare. Yields are inconsistent due to lack of water control. Most rice land in Cambodia does not have access to river water and cannot drill irrigation wells due to the tight sub-soil.
- There is adequate heat and water available in Cambodia to raise three rice crops per year. The problem is water control. Virtually, every year farmers face times of drought and flood.
- FCOP has been raising and milling rice in Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia since 2002. Ted Olbrich started working with irrigated rice in Laos in 1968. He holds an advanced degree in Rice Production from the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Laguna Province, Philippines. Ted has trained the rice farm manager for FCOP.
- FCOP has demonstrated the ability to go from one crop to three crops of rice through building dikes and reservoirs to control water. They have gone from one 2 ton crop per year to three 5 ton crops on developed land and this can be increased to 7 tons per crop as FCOP develops better seed sources and also makes these available to local farmers.
- FCOP now farms about 200 hectares of partially developed rice land. Soil fertility is naturally very low. The soils are acidic and subject to flood and drought and the varieties raised will not produce high yields. FCOP has learned how to correct these problems.
- FCOP proposes to double the size of the land holding to 400 hectares, build an encircling dike and moat system, which will hold enough water to raise a crop of rice. The moat will be filled in times of flood and drained off in times of drought giving uniform water control for three crops. • Your gift will be used to develop this concept. 1) The Children will be cared for. 2) The church will continue to grow. 3) Local farmers and orphaned children will be taught modern rice production. 4) Farmers will combine their holdings and form modern cooperatives to increase production and profits.