The Hill Tribe Communities That Cultivates Coffee & Green Tea In The Golden Triangle
by Wisdom For Health
Our Coffee and Green Tea are cultivated in the mountains of the Golden Triangle by hill-tribe farmers. The Golden Triangle refers to a region where the three countries of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Many hill tribes live here: Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Karen, just to name a few. Most are nomadic, but many have settled down in villages, towns and cities.
The Golden Triangle is a beautiful region with a dark side: it is notorious for poppy cultivation from which opium is derived from. The Golden Triangle is the 2nd largest source of opium in the world. It is used to produce drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine.
The hill-tribes are especially vulnerable to drug syndicates because the majority are marginalized, possess little education, and are unable to obtain citizenship in the countries that they settled in. Disenfranchised and unemployed, they are easily lured into the drug trade.
Drug syndicates often target remote mountain villages by “flooding” them with drugs in order to hook the villagers. Some drug addicts are as young as 6-years old. Drug addicts are then exploited by drug syndicates to do their dirty work of drug processing, trafficking and peddling. Impoverished farmers are lured by high prices for poppies, and youths as young as 18-year olds, trafficked drugs across the mountains to cities and towns.
To eradicate the drug trade in Thailand, the late queen mother promoted coffee as a cash crop among hill-tribe farmers. Although poppies are no longer cultivated in Thailand, they are still grown in the remote mountains of Myanmar and Laos.
Why Should We Buy Our Coffee And Tea From The Golden Triangle?
The drug trade is like cancer. It can spread if we do not help eradicate it. The drug supply chain from the Golden Triangle stretches all the way to Singapore and beyond.
With your purchase, we can help alleviate poverty and its evils by giving alternative employment to the hill-tribe people.
More About The Hill Tribes In The Golden Triangle
Above pics: Green tea is cultivated by the residents of FHL Rehab Centre in Huai Chompu near Doichang.
In the remote mountains of Myanmar and Laos, the drug syndicates lure poor hill-tribe farmers into cultivating poppy plants and processing drug with generous rewards. Whole villages can end up being hooked on drugs. The young men, with their familiarity of the mountain terrain, are used to traffic drugs across the borders of the three countries.
In the more developed North Thailand, many hill tribes have moved there, attracted by the better economic opportunities. But they are not granted Thai citizenship, unless they are born on Thai soil. The lack of citizenship limits their employment options, making them easy targets for drug syndicates operating in the Golden Triangle. In Thailand, the youths and young adults are mainly lured into drug trafficking and peddling.
Tribal villagers are tempted with attractive sums of money to do the dirty work of the syndicates. Desperate to improve their lives, the villagers succumb. The drug addicts and peddlers then introduce drugs to their friends and communities. Many end up trapping themselves in an endless cycle of addiction.
Several hill-tribes live in the Golden Triangle: Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Karen, Naxi, etc. They originated from Yunnan, China and migrated across the mountains to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand. Some are found in Vietnam and Tibet too. Generally, they are less educated than the local Thai majority and are often marginalized. One of the hill-tribes, the Akha, is a tribe with an estimated population of 5 to 6 million people living in the mountains across China, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.