His Majesty the King is seen during the Coronation Ceremony on May 5 th. B.E. 2493 (A.D. 1950) while seated on the Bhadrabith Throne beneath the Nine-tiered White Umbrella of State in the Baisal Daksin Hall of the Grand Palace in the act of pronouncing the Oath of Accession to the Throne of all Thai King which says We will reign with righteousness, for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people", while at the same time pouring ceremonial water symbolizing to the dedication of his whole being and efforts henceforward to the task of reigning over the Thai Nation according to the Ten-Fold Moral Principles of the Sovereign.
In the years following, His Majesty the King began what has become his way of life - traveling thoughout the year to the provinces and rural areas of the kingdom to visit his people, talk to them and, perhaps even more important, listen to them. He learns first hand of their needs and their problems and then sets about trying to find a way of giving immediate help; later these problems are studied in depth to find a permanent solution or way of assistance.
In B.E. 2512 (A.D. 1969), His Majesty launched the Royal Project to help Hill-Tribes in NorthernThailand who practised slash-and burn farming and grew opium poppy. The Project introduced new cash crops and new technology which helped increase their income. This crop-substitution project provided a long-term solution which was hugely successful. In His Majesty's words, "Help the hilltribes. Help our people, Help the earthlings." The hilltribes are given solid jobs and no longer have to search for new farmland. They no longer destroy watershed areas and that helps the nation. They no longer grow opium poppy and that helps everyone in the world.
Since His Majesty's accession to the throne 52 years ago, not once have the sufferings of the Thai people been unknown to him, nor ignored. The royal initiatives in over 4,000 projects reflect His Majesty's concerns over the well being of his subjects, especially the farmers who are the majority and yet the poorest. Whether the project is agriculture, irrigation, forestry, the environment, etc., His Majesty's love for the Thai people is abundant and readily apparent. The purpose of his projects has been to teach people the essentials of technical, self-sufficient and environmentally friendly farming. His Majesty's whishes to help the people in the remote areas has reached no greater success than with the support of Her Majesty the Queen's project on
the "Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques" (SUPPORT). Under the SUPPORT Project, the farmers families are trained in craftsmanship so they can spend time making handcrafted projects for sale. By making handcraftes, insted of playing and gambling, the family's income is raised and the individual's self-esteem is improved. The SUPPORT Project has become so successful that these products are not only popular for domestic use, but also provide a welcome source of exports for Thailand.
His Majesty has shown remarkable perseverance in an effort to promote the SUPPORT Project and other developmental efforts in the most remote areas of the country. He has gone everywhere and seen everything, and he has consistently done what he thought was required to improve the daily life of the Thai people. His Majesty's life has been an inspiration that rouses the awareness of perseverance at all levels of the society, especially the intellectural level, which seems to be nearest to His Majesty's ideals.
In B.E. 2504 (A.D. 1961), His Majesty the Hing was greatly interested in agriculture which he regarded as the major occupation of the Thai population. He first launched experimental projects in modern agriculture in the grounds of Chitralada Villa, the Royal Residence. These early projects were modified into later development projects.
The Royal Hill-Tribes Development Programme, at present called The Royal Project, was inaugurated in the year B.E. 2512 (A.D. 1969), following His Majesty the King's expressed desire to initiate the benefits of sedentary agricultural practice to the Hill-Tribes community with introduction of substituted cash crops that, in some cases, may fetch higher market prices than opium. During the early stages of the project, His Majesty encouraged the grafting of temperate climate peach scions to the stocks of local species of peach trees. The grafted trees bore fruits that were improved in texture and taste and were hardy enough to withstand long transportation journey to the markets. Other temperate climate fruit scions were also experimemted with at
different elevations at the Royal Project's Highland Agricultural Research Stations in various villages in Chiang Mai Province, Phui Village, Mae Chaem District, Khum Village, Fang District, Khun Wang Village, San Pa Tong District, Sam Mun Village, Chiang Dao District, and Mae Tho Village, Hot District,
One of the earliest projects initiated by His Majesty the King was fish culture and fish farming in the year B.E. 2495 (A.D. 1952) when His Majesty graciously commanded the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, to culture Pla Mo Tet (Tilapia mossambica) in the ponds on the grounds of Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace.
And on November 7th. B.E. 2496 (A.D. 1953) His Majesty the King presided over a ceremony to present Pla Mo Tet from the Chitralada ponds to village headmen from all over the country in order to introduce fish culture and fish farming to the population.
Later on, in March B.E. 2508 (A.D. 1965) His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akihito of Japan presented another species of Tilapia, native to the River Nile, to His Majesty the King. The fish fry numbering 50 in all which were released into special ponds in the grounds of Chitralada Villa reproduced very rapidly and on March 17th. B.E. 2509 (A.D. 1966) His Majesty was graciously pleased to present 10,000 "Pla Nil"(Tilapia nilotica) fish fry to the Department of Fisheries to be cultured prior to releasing into waterways and given to the general public throughout the Kingdom.
His Majesty has also been pleased to donate 500,000 Tilapia nilotica fish fry to the People's Republic of Bangladesh under the Food From Hunger Campaign of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund at the requst of the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Due to the limited size of arable land at the Hup Kaphong Land Development Project, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province, which was insufficient to accomodate more needy farmers, His Majesty the King, therefore, asked the Government to provide another size for a similar co-operative community to be established on a 2,580 rai tract of land at Don Khun Hai, also in Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province.
His Majesty the King initiated the Chitralada Farm's Rice Cultivation Project in the grounds of Chitralada Villa, Dusit Place, in oder to conduct experiments in rice cultivation and crop rotation March B.E. 2508 (A.D. 1965) His hereby data could be collected in order for His Majesty to analyze before devising ways and means to help raise the standard of living of the Thai people, the majority of whom are farmers. The project commenced on July 16th. B.E. 2504 (A.D. 1961) when His Majesty, in the company of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, sowed rice seeds in the experimental rice plots.
The Annual First Ploughing Ceremony which is an ancient Braminic rite to ensure a good harvest due to and abundance of rain and an absence of pestilence and floods was revived by the Government, in the year B.E. 2503 (A.D. 1960), in accordance with His Majesty the King's
wish to give importance to a day dedicated to farmers throughout the Kingdom. The grains sown on the Ceremonial Field at the Sanam Luang Grounds since the year B.E. 2505 (A.D. 1962) have been rice seeds from the Chitralada Farm's experimental rice fields in the grounds of Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace.
The Annual First Ploughing Ceremony is also an occasion when His Majesty the King graciously presents awarda and certificates to outstanding farmers from each region, whose fields produced the highest yields during the previous year. Upon completion of the ceremony, farmers from all parts of the Kingdom try to obtain some seeds, which had previously been sown,
in order to mix with their own grains as portending good omen when scanttered in their own fields.
River basin development.
His Majesty th King understands full well the importance of irrigation schemes for the people living in extremely remote and poverty stricken areas. This is due to the fact that, if water is available for agricultural purposes, then the people would have a means to make a meaningful livelihood; therby rendering subversive activities by terrorists among the populace fruitless.
Thus, in the year 1978, the Banthat Mountain Range Upland Development Project, Prachin Buri Province, was inaugurated as a joint development programme under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense, in order to find ample sources of water for the people in that vicinity.
The Reafforestation Programme for Watershed Development, which began in the year B.E. 2508 (A.D. 1965), is one of the most important and pressing projects of the Watershed Management Divition, Royal Forestry Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Its goal is to find suitable species of trees for cultivation in areas where the forests already been destroyed by illegal log-cutting and the swidden farming prctices of the Hill-Tribes people.
Everytime His Majesty the King distributes livestock and poultry to farmers, he will tae great care to instruct the people on the proper methods to look after their animals such as on February 11th. B.E. 2513 (A.D. 1973), when His Majesty donated some Rhode Island Red species of chicken to the Karen Hill-Tribe people, at Pa Ka Village, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province, His Majesty the King strongly believes in advocacy of animal husbandry as livestock and poultry are an important source of protein in the people's diet, whether in the form of milk, eggs or meat. Furthermore, larger animals can also be used to help with the manual labour on the farm.
Their Majesty the King and Queen and all the Royal children understand full well the importance of education as the basis for the making of a successful livelihood, which in the final analysis contributes to the development of the country in all fields of activities. For this reason, they have always carried out their duties diligently in the promotion of education. His Majesty presides over the Ceremony of Conferring Degrees many times a year to all the graduates of State Universities, which can sometimes extend over a period of nine consecutive days. By Royal Command, Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn have often represented His Majesty at Commencement Exercises and when accompanying His Majesty to provincial universities, such as at Khon Kaen University, have given impromptu speeches to the student body.
The Ananda Mahidol Foundation was established in the year B.E. 2489 (A.D. 1946) in order to award scholarships to deserving students to study abroad while the King's Scholarships was established in the year B.E. 2498 (A.D. 1955) with funds from the Privy Purse in order to grant scholarships to students who successfully passed special examinations by The Civil Service Commission to continue their higher education at once of the local universities or even abroad. In both cases, His Majesty will grant an audience to the students before they depart to continue their education. There are no contracts binding on any scholarships recipients.
His Majesty the King pays relentless attention to all problems relating to irrigation, particularly the judicious use of natural water resources so as to obtain the greatest benefit from a given amount of resources. Thus he will, whenever possible, visit all kinds of irrigation projects, whether it be large dams, small weirs or irrigation canas, such as when he visited the Mae Mon Irrigation Project in the remote Chae Hom District, Lampang Province, on January 8th. B.E. 2522 (A.D. 1969).
Since April of B.E. 2508 (A.D. 1965) His Majesty the King has graciously granted permission for the Royal Medical Unit, which developed during earlier reigns as an extention of the Bureau of the Royal Household in order to take care of the health of the members of the Royal Family and the Royal entourage, to treat the general population, for he deeply understands that the good health and well-being of the people are an essential requisite for the making of a worthy livelihood.
Royal permission was also granted from the year B.E. 2508 (A.D. 1965) onwards for the Royal Medical Unit and Royal Mobile Medical Teams to accompany His Majesty the King and the Royal Family on all provincial visits. Thus Royal Medical Units are established at Klai Kangwol Palace (Prachuap Khiri Khan Province),
Phuphing Palace (Chiang Mai Province), Daksin Palace (Narathiwat Province), Phuphanl Palace (Sakon Nakhon Province), for the duration of an extended stay while Royal Mobil Medical Teams composed of volunteer doctors and doctors attached to the Royal Medical Units are temporarily set up in the remote villages and hamlets on the days of Royal visits.
The Sai Jai Thai Foundation Under Royal Patronage was established on April of B.E. 2518 (A.D. 1975), and has received continuous generous support from all members of the public. its purpose is to provide emergency funds, before proper assistances could be given by appropriate governmental agencies, to those civilian, military and police officials, as well as volunteers, who are maimed or wounded in action while conducting internal security operations. Furthermore, in cases where these officers are killed on duty, the Foundation will provide immediate help to the families of the
deceased. His Majesty the King has often held a party at Dusidalai Hall in the grounds of Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace, for wounded officials and volunteers, who also receive packages of gifts. One such party was held on April 2nd. B.E. 2521 (A.D. 1978).
The Royal Rain-Making Research and Developmen Project, first began to offer its services to the farmers in the year B.E. 2514 (A.D. 1971), following the Royal instigation of His Majesty the King that research and development should be carried out on ways and means for making artificial rain fall in extremely parched areas where crops are being threatened. The project benefits greatly from the close co-operations between the various agencies within the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.
On June 13, 1969 His Majesty had stated his viewpoint to Accelerated Rural Development Administrators at Audience at Ambara Villa of Dusit Palace thusly, "....First and foremost is the humanitarian consideration. If we are to be kind to follow human beings who live in the same country and thus fellow-country men and are known to be in dire needs, it is necessary for the authorities who are better endowed both in knowledge and in wealth to go to their assistance.
....The second reason pertains to the promotion of the safety of the country, for progress beyon mere human consideration. If the country enjoys peace, progress and security, we can maintain our existence, whether in the city or urban area and whether financially well-off or middling.
Security which is essential is the security of the people in the countryside generally, for they constitute the majority of the population which in turn makes up the nation. In order to survive, we must therefore work for the security of the nation, that is, of the people as a whole. ....".
Illustrated Handbook of Projects Undertaken Through Royal Initiative, a Publication of the Committee for the Rattanakosin Bicentennial Celebration to Commemorate the Rattanakosin Bicentennial Buddhist ERA 1982, 1982.
The Golden Jubilee of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadaj, "http://www.Kanchanapisek.or.th/"
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadaj of Thailand, The Golden Jubilee of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadaj (CD ROM), 1996.