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The Genius of king Rama 9 on Agriculture



Agriculture under the Royal Patronage of Thai Kings

His majesty the king in the capacities of a thinker, an inventor, and anexperimenter, have been striving to seek ways of and approaches to the resolution of problems beleaguing Thai farmers, ranging from soil problems by increasing fertility for sandy loam, and increasing moisture for hardsetting soil, and laterite soil, use of irrigation systems to reduce salinity for saline soil, and solving the problem of acid soil by affecting the soil compositions vicariously through a process modelled after the natural process, whereby soil acidity is gradually reduced resulting in higher levels of soil fertility.

Simultaneously, his majesty graciously propagated theories aimed at preventing soil deterioration and erosion through vetiver grass cultivation. His majesty improved on Thailandís local wisdom cherished by Thai villagers, and proposed the practice of growing vetiver grass crosswise on mountain slopes. This practice both prevents soil erosion, and maintain soil moisture levels. This royal initiative was a manifestation of his majestyís compassion to secure long-lasting welfare for the entire farmersí community.

The king was fully aware that only with their own land title over cultivation land could Thai farmers ever have a decent and sustainable livelihood. Therefore, his majesty started working to ensure that the farmers can enjoy and exercise such a right and title, culminating in the land acquisition project at Hub Kapong, Khaoyai Sub-dsitrict, Cha-am District, Petchburi Province. In particular, his majestyís overwhelming compassion was manifested in the purest form possible as his majesty graciously assigned the title of of land totalling over of 40,000 rai (9,400 hectars) formerly owned by the Bureau of the the Crown Property in 5 provinces to farmers to enable them to have their own farmland. Of utmost importance is the fact that his majesty has long realized that the sustanability of a decent livelihood of the farmers can only be achieved when they learn and are ready to stand on their own feet. This realization has led to the development of a developmental theory for self-reliance on the part of the farmers. This theory is based on the principles wherebty the farmers are encouraged to freely make their practical choices, primarily depend on themselves, uphold peopleís participation, and cherish democratic practices, based on the solid foundation of a full understanding of regional geography, culture, customs, and traditions as a cornerstone for development. This is clearly spelt out in one of his majestyís remaks as follows;

"... Development must be based on the geographical typograpphy, and social, sociological typography. Sociological typography works in such a way that one may not force others to perceive the world oneís way. Only when we get in, and look for ourselves what they really want, and explain the relevant gist can we literally realize the true utility of development ...

Such a royal weltanschauung led to the establishment of centres for the development studies of his majesty the kingís initiated projects as one-stop service centres, functioning simultaneously as efiicient public administrative agencies, and effective service units for the benefit of the public.

Above all, in an attempt to ensure that his subjects enjoy a decent livelihood in a sustainable manner, his majesty graciously has expounded the new agriculture theory for the farmers to learn and fully appreciate the appropriate approach to sysytematic small-farm management to make the best of the agricultural resources.

His majesty no only takes great interest in soils, but he also prioritizes water matters in his developmental agenda. His majesty is well aware of the importance of water as a mainstay of life, he promptly takes on the problem of water shortages in agricultural zones through the construction of water reservoirs which serve threefold purposes Ė i.e. the development of irrigation systems, as well as the resolution of droughts and flooding. Where cultivation areas are located at altitudes higher than those served by creeks, his majesty helps mitigate the problem of water shortages by the construction of weirs. One great solution to drought is the provision of artifical rain as graciously initiated by his majesty which is a boon to the farmers as a whole.

At the same times, his majesty was also concenrd about his subjectsí quality of life, especially that of of Bangkokians, who face flooding and water pollution. This resulted in the water cachement project for the effective solution of of floods in Bangkok areas, as well as the invention of the aeration machine called the Chai Pattana Treadwheel to alleviate water pollution problem in Bangkok.

His majesty the king graciously propounded the profound economic philosophy of self-sufficiency to the entire nation, which not only serves as a guiding reminder for people from all wallks of life in times of economic hardship, but is also the royal words of wisdom which will lead Thailand towards sustainable security. This philosophy also functions as an immunity system which holds the Thai people together, and which enables them to undauntedly pull themselves together in the face of any resulting problems in a time characterized by vulnerabilities and uncertainties.

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