The Royal Projects
Many years ago, as His Majesty King Bhumibol toured around his kingdom observing and listening, he became increasingly aware of the many rural problems facing both the people and the land. Especially in the hilly, northern regions where subsistence farming was of the slash and burn variety, where forests were being reduced to ashes and where the growing of opium poppies was the only way for farmers to make an economic return. Under His Majesty's Royal Command, and directly under his guidance, in 1969 the Royal Projects were created with the aim of stopping this devastating waste, and to give the people -- both Thai and Hill tribes -- a better living.
Dedicated, knowledgeable professionals were appointed to direct each Project and they were supported by teams of qualified personnel from universities, government departments, students and, of course, the Thai and Hilltribe farmers.
More than 150 crops have now been successfully introduced to farmers, usually from temperate climates (as the opium growing regions are much cooler than the tropical lowlands), including cabbage, lettuce, kidney beans, tea, coffee, peaches, apples, various kinds of herbs and decorative flowers. Many of these crops have entered permanently into Thai cooking and therefore Thai culture, even though most are not native to Thailand.
The Royal Projects Foundation currently runs four research stations and thirty-five Development Centre which draw from and cares for, 295 villages comprising of 14,109 families. This is an involvement of approximately 85,000 rural Thai and Hilltribe peoples!
There is a Royal Project development centre approximately 2km from Limeleaf eco-Lodge. Please let us know if you are interested in visiting it.
ECO STANDARD AWARD
A video about Limeleaf eco-Lodge by Lea and Simon from HOPINEO (a community platform for travellers dedicated to better tourism).
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To see more videos please visit the Limeleaf eco-Lodge YouTube video channel.