News from alumna Suda Swuttanakoon
ITC alumna, Ms Suda Swuttanakoon, is the director of a very special project in Thailand. It is one of the Royal Development Projects.
In February 2008, I visited the Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre with my family and Dr Maria Bastidas (ITC alumna from Venezuela). Ms Suda explained that before it was set up the forest in the region had been mostly destroyed and the soil was badly degraded. As she went on to explain: "His Majesty saw the need to rehabilitate the soil as it had become sandy due to the continuous cultivation of field crops. Therefore, the main activity of this centre is to restore soil fertility."
Since the early days of his reign, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has visited numerous rural areas to see how people live. These visits inspired him to launch the Royal Development Projects to improve the lives of the people and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. The ultimate objective of these six projects is to tackle agricultural problems on a regional basis and enable Thai farmers to become self-reliant and self-confident.
Opened on 8 August 1979, Khao Hin Sorn is located about 100 km southeast of Bangkok in the Phanom Sarakham district of Chachoengsao province. The centre covers 1,900 rai and employs 269 workers.
A tour of the study centre highlighted interesting case studies of pioneering work in agricultural research and development, environmental rehabilitation and conservation, and social, economic and community development, where the introduction of simple technology and know-how accessible to a grassroots population was helping villagers and farmers to become self-sufficient.
We really enjoyed the visit - as well as the wonderful lunch at the centre!
Ms Suda Swuttanakoon
Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre
Phanom Sarakam District,
Chachoengsao Province 24120.
T/F: +66 (0) 3859 9105-6