CHIC Funds Support Mill to Provide Food for Laotian Children

Post a Comment » Written on December 11th, 2009     
Filed under: News
MEKONG VALLEY, THAILAND (December 11, 2009) – Construction of a food mill that will provide nutritious grain and jobs has been completed, says Peter Dutton, an economic development specialist for the Covenant.

Puffs“We had our first taste of the corn-soy puffs (top photo) as they shot out the end of our extruders!” he says. “Put a little honey on them and they wouldn’t be far off the taste of some of the breakfast cereals we grew up on.”

The project has taken eight months to complete. Equipment was purchased from a company in Laos, where it was dismantled and moved to Thailand. Twelve truckloads were needed to transport all of the equipment (lower photo). Click here to see additional photos.

A lot of work was still needed before the plant could be re-constructed. Grain bins were sanded down, repainted, and re-assembled. Roller mills, hammer mills, and extruders were cleaned and re-conditioned. Augers and transitions were fabricated. A heavy-duty electrical system also was installed.

The mill will produce a corn-soy flour product that will be sold to international relief agencies. After the material is ground into Trucksflour and fortified with vitamins and minerals, the product also will be sold to school feeding programs in countries throughout the region. The flour is steamed into nutritious cakes, with a little sugar added, and given to grade school children throughout Laos.

A study by the World Food Program in Laos estimates that almost half the school-aged children there are chronically malnourished, says Dutton.

The lack of some key nutrients in their diet means many children are stunted in height and mental development, Dutton adds. The World Food program has been working to counteract this problem through a school-feeding program throughout Laos. Similar programs exist in refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border and in surrounding countries.

The mill also creates a variety of new jobs. In addition to providing employment for mill workers, it provides opportunities for farmers to grow and sell more crops.

Dutton says the project was made possible by a special contribution from high school students attending the triennial CHIC event this past June in Knoxville, Tennessee. The donation was designated to benefit the project in Thailand. Students donated more than $109,000.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog