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Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center in Narathiwat Province

April 12, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

One of the southern border provinces, Narathiwat is the location of the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center, which serves as a model of development work through experiments and helps local people improve their abilities in agriculture.

The Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center has also been developed into an agro-tourist destination in the deep South of Thailand.

Much of the land in Narathiwat and nearby provinces is composed of water-sodden peat. The deeper marine clay contains pyrites that become very acidic when exposed to oxygen. As vast areas in Narathiwat were swampy and ““un-agricultural,” because of soil acidity, they were left unattended without production.

During his visit to Narathiwat in 1981, His Majesty the King observed that after a swamp has been drained, the soil turns acidic and crop planting ends in failure. He saw that a study center there would bring ideas to bear on the solution to soil acidity.

At the initiative of His Majesty the King, the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center was established on 6 January 1982. It is located eight kilometers from the town of Narathiwat, between Ban Pikun Thong and Ban Khoksaya in Kaluwo Nua subdistrict, Mueang district.

The objectives are to address local agricultural problems to ensure better agricultural productivity and conduct research and experimentation on development methods and technology that particularly suit the needs of the southern region. It concentrates on the management of low-lying marshes with peat soil and transfers agricultural knowledge and techniques to farmers in order to enable them to earn more income and become self-reliant.

Later, His Majesty the King His Majesty initiated the klaeng din project in Narathiwat, where he found a solution to soil acidity. The theory of klaeng din is an innovative project for the first-ever application of technology to lessen soil acidity in swamp areas in tropical regions.

Literally meaning “playing a trick on soil,” klaeng din is a soil treatment process. It exemplifies His Majesty’s ingenuity as a true innovator, by integrating innovation in technology with proper management in order to solve the problem of soil acidity.

The Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center was assigned by His Majesty to carry out the klaeng din project, which has brought about soil fertility, enabling farmers to grow many plant species. Various activities carried out by this center include soil development, animal husbandry, the cultivation of various crops, the introduction of sustainable agriculture based on the “New Theory,” and occupational training.

The center promotes community participation to sustainably conserve and preserve the ecological system, as well. Since its inception, the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center has brought about soil fertility, enabling farmers to grow many plant species, such as rice, vegetables, fruit crops, oil palm, and coconut. Government agencies involved have also adopted appropriate practices to upgrade the living conditions and quality of life of the local people.

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