HOW THE KING’S UPCOUNTRY VISITS LED TO THE ROYAL
Since the early days of his reign, His Majesty King Bhumipol has visited numerous rural areas to see how people live. These visits inspired him to launch the Royal Development Projects (RDPs) to improve the lives of the people and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.
The first RDP was initiated in 1951, when Tilapia mosambica fish were raised in the pond at the Ambhorn Villa. In 1953, the King distributed Tilapia fingerlings to villagers and district leaders throughout the country to provide an alternative source of protein for rural people.
The first rural infrastructure development project began in 1952, when His Majesty donated bulldozers to the Naresuan Border Patrol Police unit to build a road from Hua Hin District to Huay Mongkol Village in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The road has provided the villagers with easy access to the city and allows them to bring their farm produce to provincial markets.
According to Sompol Panmanee, secretary-general of the Royal Development Projects Board, His Majesty once said that “a royal project is a royal opinion. If a royal opinion cannot be touched, it would mean that Thailand cannot progress.”
In saying this, His Majesty intended to stress that his initiatives are meant to be further examined and tested by the government at its own discretion. His Majesty has no intention to compete with the government. His desire is to help the government work for the betterment of the country.
“His Majesty truly deserves to be called the Developer King for his dedication to alleviating the people's hardships and improving their quality of life,” said Sompol.