On July 19, 1979
The Director-General of the Royal Irrigation Department (Mr. Sunthorn Ruanglek) and his delegation attended an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great to survey the geographic features to consider the construction of small-sized reservoirs at Cek Stream and every stream flowing into Nam Chon River.
Royal Duties and Royal Initiatives
On July 19, 1979
On August 8, 1979
His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great traveled in the royal car along with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Her Royal Highness Prince Chulabhorn Walailak to open the Somdej Phra Pinklao Memorial at Ban Khao Hin Son, Village No. 2, Khao Hin Son Subdistrict, Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province.
At that place, seven people made their offerings of 264 rai plots of land in the area of Village no. 2, Khao Hin Son Subdistrict, Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province to the King in order to build a palace as they viewed wherever the King visited become more developed. With deteriorating land conditions and the inability for farming, the King took an oath with the land donors asking them whether this plot of land could be used for an agriculture study center in which the villagers accepted in rejoice. Therefore, His Majesty the King gave a speech to the officials of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives regarding the importance of detailed soil surveys in order to allocate the portions for the benefit of allowing interested parties to come and study in the fields of irrigation, agriculture, livestock, as well as demonstrations of the cottage industry.
On July 21, 1980
His Majesty the King accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Walailak visited Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center in Chachoengsao Province to observe plantation activities, composting demonstration, soil conservation, pig pens, cow pens, Huai Chek Reservoir, irrigation ditches, and releasing of catfish, tilapia and carp into Huai Chek Reservoir, experiments with rubber planting and planting fast-growing crops, plant nursery center, Somdej Phra Pinklao Arboretum, botanical garden, herb garden and arts and crafts center.
His Majesty the King had a meeting with Mr. Banharn Silpa-archa, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Governor of Chachoengsao Province, and officials of the Ministry of Interior to express his satisfaction with their cooperation in developing the lands in order to establish the center for agricultural study development as a source for farmers and interested visitors. His Majesty’s initiative was to explore soil erosion during the rainy season and determine the measures to maintain roads within the center as well as the suitability of planting plants and field crops, cultivating fields in the dry season and paddy-sown field, and raising fish in rice fields. (Summary of royal duties from October 1979 – September 1980).
On August 22, 1984
His Majesty the King accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Center and looked at the Project Coordination Center’s projects; for example, the arrangement of soil and water conservation system with the purpose of preventing soil erosion, production of compost from agricultural waste to nourish the soil instead of scientific fertilizer, biogas production, forest plantations, and various types of fast-growing trees, economical way of using firewood and charcoal, the experimental plot for growing drought-tolerant crops, crop planting rotation demonstration plots throughout the year, demonstration plot of rubber planting, freshwater fish breeding ponds, reservoirs used as breeding grounds for freshwater fish and shrimp, demonstration plots for propagating medicinal plants, the center of arts and crafts apprenticeships and rice mills. They observed rice milling machines, which SATAKE Engineering Co., Ltd. of Japan donated to His Majesty the King and was able to mill one ton of rice per hour to provide rice milling services to poor people. Both His Majesty the King and Her Royal Highness visited the cooperative stores and had a royal initiative of it to be a model store where operators and service users conducted discipline and honesty towards cooperative affairs.
The royal family released Mekong giant catfish, Iridescent sharks, Java barbs, Jullien’s golden carps, Yisok fish, and giant freshwater prawns into Huai Samrong Tai Reservoir and visited the people of Ban Huai Samrong Tai.
Later, His Majesty the King proceeded to the forest garden fair, solar-powered water pump of Reservoir 1 and Reservoir 2 of Khao Hin Son Research Center (Summary from Royal duties dated October 1983 – September 1984).
On January 21, 1986
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn personally monitored the progress of the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center.
On August 26, 1988
His Majesty the King gave the preliminary history of the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center to the special chairman to coordinate projects in accordance with the royal initiative (General Chatichai Choonhavan) at the Dusidalai Hall, stating,
“…this is based on the history of the development study center starting at Khao Hin Son Education Study Center…”
“…History goes that …In the beginning, there were 264 rai plots of land that the village headman offered “to build a palace” in 1977 at the foot of Khao Hin Sorn near Hin Son temple. At first, many researched where the place was and tried to investigate. It appeared that it was found on the map at Khao Hin (Map 1:50,000, sheet 5236 I, II, 5336 III, IV). Then, I have collected thoughts for 2 years, trying to find them on the map. How was this place? When finished, I asked to see what the nature of the area was. I appeared to find it on the map at the upper sheet of the map so I attached the maps of 4 sheets for others to know where it was located. Having asked whether it was acceptable for the villagers to build a study center instead of a palace, I began the construction after they accepted it…”
“…The study center at Hin Son was the first study center. Hin Son Study Center’s result might be small because of the limited geophysical condition. Subsequently, the idea of building a study center spread out…”
“…The first one was given to the Royal Irrigation Department to build a reservoir which looks strange because the reservoir occupies almost all of the resources obtained. Only a few raises remain to be used for cultivation. Using irrigation water started like that which is not considered a breach of discipline. In reality, it is theoretically wrong. Use water-based on the area of the land. Most reservoirs utilize water for planting in only a few raises but it is considered as an example. The benefits are not only in our place but also for lower places down that would have benefited for that construction site…”
On March 30, 1990
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn came to open Sirindhorn Child Development Center, Village No. 1, Ban Cham Kwang Village, Khao Hin Son Subdistrict, Phanom Sarakham District Chachoengsao Province.
On April 23, 1997
His Majesty the King accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study in Center Chachoengsao Province. The royal initiatives can be summarized as follows:
1st Visited Place: On the ridge of Huai Chek Reservoir
The previous condition of the area where the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center was located before development until now. In the past, it was an area where even cassava did not grow. At present, it has been developed for more than 10 years. Most of the area was sandy, full of compacted soil. So, soil erosion was unpreventable. The royal looked at the forestry work and irrigation, overall view of the boundaries of the center, soil potential, and space utilization at the end of the reservoir to apply to the new theory of Soil and Water Management and Integrated Agriculture.
It involved planting vetiver grass around the border of the forest to prevent erosion of the soil and falling leaves helping soil condition better as they decompose. Vetiver grasses planted in between perennial trees did not die but stopped growing. When the trees were cut, the vetiver would be able to grow again. To plant vetiver grass in the compacted soil required digging a big hole to make the compacted soil break away and could trap sediments as well as leaves that created new soil.
Water use – Near a reservoir, a well might not be needed. Using water from the reservoir was applicable by building various water reservoirs that had not been constructed according to the plan for the project to supply alternative water for Nam Chon Basin of the royal initiatives. If people did not cooperate, pre-new theory preparation could not be implemented. The land of Chaipattana Foundation at Ban Na District, Nakhon Nayok Province was offered due to rainy season floods, drought in the dry season, as well as acidic soil. But the soil is different from that in Narathiwat. Due to the soil being older, 2 reservoirs were dug to collect water. The first step was to level the soil surface kept in the reservoir and then soil dug from the lower reservoir. Acidic soil was filled to level in the area and later brought the top of the soil back to about 1 meter high while a berm was built around this project so that it did not affect the area of people nearby. The 1st reservoir received sour water in the project area (The 2nd reservoir does not receive water.) When the water in the 1st reservoir was full, then pumped the sour water into the 2nd reservoir. When the 2nd reservoir was very sour, a treatment substance such as crushed dust was added. The water test was required to continue for about two years. Soil and water conditions were expected to improve. Therefore, the new theory-based project could have proceeded next.
2nd Visited Place: Working Pavilion at Wang Sangkawat Fish Park
The model of the development of the Nam Chon Basin included the construction of a cascading check dam in order of ground level and different types of water usage. Land use is considered based on land performance as the low-lying areas of the creek and the forest on the plateau have both cons and pros of planting vetiver grass seedlings in a mesh greenhouse. Sustainable Agriculture Education and Agricultural works in the area of the royal project are as follows.
- His Majesty the King ordered the Director-General of the Royal Irrigation Department regarding the water source and water situation. To sum up, several reservoirs in the center could not store water (reservoirs 6, 8, and 9). The Royal Irrigation Department had to inspect and consider improving it to be usable by laying soil cement. If it still leaked, plastering had to be continued with more soil-cement until leakage stopped. Such said reservoirs were borrowed areas aimed for constructing various reservoirs for further beneficial uses and various agricultural activities around them e.g,
- Reservoir 6 was a concrete lining deck reservoir but faced a problem of water eroding soil under the concrete. It resulted in cracks and damages to the concrete, and the reservoir could not restore water.
- Reservoir 8 covered with plastic rubber sheets had a leaking problem. It then was repaired to be able to store water.
- Reservoir 9 is a natural pond with a high rate of leakage. The Royal Irrigation Department used soil cement or cement lining appropriately.
His Majesty made royal comments with the director of the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center.
- To study the cultivation of vetiver grass in the soil of Khao Hin Son Subdistrict that had been practiced in compacted soil in Khao Changum (the project to study methods for restoring degraded soils in the area of Khao Changum, Photharam District, Ratchaburi Province) and in Huai Sai (Huai Sai Development Study Center, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province).
- He knew that all departments had cooperated so well that the villagers’ well-being could be visibly seen. He visited the center to help develop water resources, soil conditions, infrastructure, and technology from various institutes accessible to farmers in the royal project.
- The center is individually managed with its own income. In case of insufficient budget, the center was funded by Chaipattana Foundation to run its operations.
- The center did farm bookkeeping and transferred knowledge about investment, profit and loss to farmers around the center.
- The establishment of cooperative groups was promoted by having people in each village form a group making connections between villages around the center.
3rd Visited Place: Waterfront Pavilion ( Huai Samrong Nuea Reservoir)
- Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center conducted an experiment with planting eucalyptus trees to check their effects on other plants which appeared to be healthily large and straight. The center allowed the planting of the trees in a small patch — not turning into a jungle, avoiding forest fire. There were catch crops and some trees were cut for firewood while some were left to grow larger. There was a no when it came to eucalyptus; therefore, eucalyptus had to be planted. The trees had to be further studied. It would be great if they were beneficial. Here, any crops must be planted because nothing could be planted. In the rubber forest, river tamarinds were planted as well. Once, rubber trees could not grow at all because the water was absorbed by river tamarinds completely. Although water drop sprinklings were equipped, there was a little help. The soil condition around the center was slightly hydrated. But when there was a terraced weir, it could moisturize the soil making it more abundant places for cultivation. Prior to the project, the areas were explored fully but only checked from the map. The Royal Irrigation Department adjusted and built a dam. Then this plot of land improved in contrast to how it was before.
The Land Development Department was responsible for developing the land. Here, the land started from zero with gradual improvement and the soil condition was compacted and sandy. River tamarinds started rooting all over the place and it left no choice but cut them all. Eventually, the trees of Dr. Pisit Woraurai were planted and proved that no matter how bad the soil was, it could be improved. Such a method ensured that something could grow in these areas. Water seepage could be seen in the area around Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center. We took advantage of the mountains. The rain poured down the leaves. We took advantage of the forest through Nam Chon brooks.
- Cooperative Village – The government gave plots of land to earn a living in the forest because some forests are not sources of watersheds. But once receiving a title deed, some plots of land were sold to some capitalist for constructing a resort causing problems. In 1981, Rights to Earn a Living in Natural Reserves and National Parks (Sor Tor Kor) was enforceable in Doi Inthanon National Park with following criteria. Sor Tor Kor 1 – the rights to earn a living without separation from a reverse area. When receiving Sor Tor Kor 2 – can officially earn a living, one can obtain Sor Tor Kor 3 if he/she continues living. It can be seen that Sor Tor Kor 3 is at the cooperative village and has rights to borrow loans from BAAC. The village uses the village fund grouped into several groups e.g. San Kamphaeng Cooperative Village Project (Chiang Mai Province) borrowing a loan from Krung Thai Bank. They still cannot repay the loans incurring overdue debts. If they manage well, they might get some in return. They must use the same principles that Nongpho Ratchaburi Dairy Cooperative Limited applied to borrow partial loans. When they fully repay, they can find another cooperative for their younger generations. Starting from us, let’s found the initiative fund. As the days pass by, the money grows bigger. For the fund, if borrowing the loan and repaying, it will revolve continuously. There must be a criterion that one must have an income in order to put money into the fund and must be taught to repay debt.
- Soil Improvement – Chaipattana Foundation’s land area totals 50 rai located in Ban Na District (Nakhon Nayok Province). There is drought in the dry season and flood in the rainy season making the land infertile. Hardly anything could be grown and the soil was highly acidic. Based on the satellite image, 2 reservoirs were dug. A total of 50 rai soil at the height of 1 meter was acidic. When it rained, the soil was washed away into reservoirs. Water had nowhere to flow out and other people were in trouble. The rainwater washed sourness into the reservoir. After a while, half of the water evaporated. Then pumped water from the first reservoir into the second reservoir without having to grow any plants. The first reservoir collects rainwater at the capacity of 20,000 cubic meters. 50 rai areas can receive rainwater although some evaporated. The rest can be of use throughout the year. Building dykes around the area while sloping the area was an important consideration. If there is a flood outside the dykes, install diagonal pipes. Put floodwater into the reservoir and rain helps fill in the reservoir as well. Within 3 years, growing rice is possible. Let’s try it and see if it succeeds. It’s okay. It is our own place. But if successful, it can be proven that the soil can be used. It is helpful. We cannot do it in the villagers’ areas. If there is not enough rainwater, diagonal pipes are used. The suggestion of digging a ditch to get water is also correct. But digging a pond is a concept of the average of dug soil in the planting plot that can be made into a water ditch as well. There is nothing wrong. This is a trivial thing that can be solved. As said in principle, it is a fixed solution. We are trying our principle to solve acidic soil without adding lime because the cost of lime delivery is expensive although lime itself costs a penny. If any crops can be grown in acidic soil, it is good because the content of organic matter increases. After developing soil by planting more crops and connecting ditches together, we can pour water into the reservoir which is considered cleaning the soil. It depends on geographical features whether it is plain or mountainous. We need to brainstorm. First, it is no use when digging 2 reservoirs. It is a principle for cooperation. It may take 2-3 years. At Nakhon Nayok Province, marl is not considered because we use little to no marl. We will try finding a method using rainwater through the soil to clean acidity. Reducing soil acidity without lime or putting lime later into the soil is not a worry. Doing this is not a privilege at all.
For water use, it is not a problem for villagers at all because it is an experiment conducted with lime. In Nakhon Nayok Province, we have Tha Dan Dam beneficial to more than 200,000 rai plots of land. Using water from Tha Dan Dam to wash away acidity in soil can be a problem. But we will do this in our 50 rai because it is our place and experiment to see the result. We will use a new method or you may call it an old method because someone will find it old-fashioned. It is all about research. Adding lime at first is something ordinary. As you might have known, we are stubborn but stubborn to know more. Succeed or not? It is not a big deal. Many departments can help think of solutions. (Documents from Office of the Royal Development Projects Board on Compilation of the royal initiatives of His Majesty the King and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the Khao Hin Sorn Royal during their visit to the Development Study Center Project, Khao Hin Son Subdistrict, Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province on Wednesday, April 23, 1997.)
On April 23, 1997
Much to His Majesty the King’s rejoice, he and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited to look at the results of the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center, stating, “…At Khao Hin Son, many parties have been helping each other for 15 years. It can be a role model for villagers and other villages. It is easier to do now but it was a tough task. The result is indeed fulfilling. villagers are happy and so are we. Before even we could not plant cassava, it has improved. It is windy. A lot has changed..”
On March 19, 1997
His Majesty the King granted the information that he had recorded and analyzed the problems of the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center to the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board at Klai Kangwon Palace, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
“…Problem 1, Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center, Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province: 1979, there was deforestation and plantation of crops — corn and cassava making soil infertile and sandy. In the dry season, there was wind erosion but, in the rainy season, there was water erosion..”
According to recorded documents granted to the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board.
Royal Initiative “The Performance of Soil in the Center”
“…is sandy soil with low contents of minerals…”
“…The land use in the creek is sufficient so no problem. Using regular fertilizers is alright. The soil on the hill is sandy, full of compacted soil and rocks. Grasses must be planted in terraces to hold on the soil, producing organic fertilizer. The soil (sand) without grass planted tended to be washed away when raining. A variety of trees must be planted to maintain humidity…”
Royal Initiative “Water Resources in the Area”
“…First of all, Huai Chek Dam was built with water seepage (Coordinate QR715208). After the opening ceremony of Somdej Phra Pinklao Memorial at Khao Hin Son Temple, the areas were explored and inspected to determine the construction of the dam ( August 8, 1979). Afterward, more reservoirs (outside the area) were built namely Huai Samrong Nuea Reservoir and Huai Samrong Tai Reservoir…”
“…The construction of the Huai Chek Dam (3) should be constructed in an area where the storage capacity of water is probably less than the specified limit but it does not affect the place where rice can be grown…”
Royal Initiative “Selecting Activities Suitable for the Area”
“…When water has been developed moderately, crop plantation starts, and raising fish is practiced in the lowlands. On the hill, the villagers raise cattle and plant grasses, trees, and forests making the soil fertile. Eventually, the entire soil in the area is usable. Although this process is time-consuming, it can recover the degenerative process back to a way to improve leading to the abundant area…”
Royal Initiative “Low-to-High Diversion of Water”
“…Besides the place receiving irrigation water, there is a place above the reservoir to take advantage of growing other types of plants. The studies related to botany and low-to-high diversion of water showed using a pumping method, for example, a normal engine pump for further development. Moreover, wind turbines or electricity from solar cells are used. Or we can use a water turbine based on water usage and use another part to pump up…”
Royal Initiative “Plant Cultivation for Multipurpose Use”
“…when classifying the performance of land for field crops and forestation, planting trees should be implemented in order to preserve soil surface and air humidity. It is also useful for household use, for example, firewoods, house building, fruits…”
For the first time, the Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center was established. His Majesty the King was reported that the investment in developing the establishment was probably not cost-effective however the king opposed the idea and stated his point of view that,
“…Recently, various departments report that the soil around here was not good or useless. Making any project was worth nothing. They said the bad soil was found everywhere in Thailand. If we did not do anything to help improve the soil, Thailand would turn into a desert. The officials understood and they tried to find a way to restore the soil. Now even rice or any crops can be grown. If you look at the formula they have used, how much to invest and how much is the income? No matter what proportion, you cannot directly just use the formula they have used. You must adapt it to your area so that it can get the most benefits and the most outputs. The output outside the area will be high consequently so that’s why we need to study and see how it works in the end. A development study center will eventually be founded…”
Royal Initiative as an Important Principle in all Educational Centers
“… Development of poor or deteriorated land to become more arable land…”
On October 3, 2003
His Majesty the King expressed a royal speech to the CEO at Klai Kangwon Palace, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, “…the fact that the plot of land costs much higher than before. If we want to buy it now, no one will not sell it to us at all. Because it is now so arable that growing mangoes or veggies is profitable. I love that area not because it is profitable and of course I do not keep the income to myself. But, it is about creating and buying more areas for Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center, which is well-known to people…”