CHIANG MAI, 28 April 2015 - The Mae Hong Son Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been preparing to promote the northern province’s folklore tourism.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said the Thai government is determined to continue assisting quake survivors in Nepal.

According to the Prime Minister, the Thai government has donated 200,000 US dollars and necessities to help Nepal cope with the aftermath of the devastating quake.

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 -The Department of Mineral Fuels is holding a seminar to educate the Thai public on the tar balls phenomenon and how to handle them.

Bangkok, 28 April 2015 - In remote areas in the southern border provinces, many local people still find it difficult to have access to modern medical services. Because of some conceptions, a number of them do not want to seek medical treatment in hospitals or clinics. Aware of the importance of medical care to improve local people’s living conditions, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4 Forward has launched a project, known as Mo Doen Thao, or "Traveling Doctor.”

Under this project, military doctors and health personnel travel on foot without weapons to visit local people in various areas. They provide them with free medical check-ups and primary health care, based on humanitarian principles and medical ethics. If any sick people need further treatment, they will be sent to the hospital.

The project began in 2008 in the three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat, and it has proven very successful in promoting better understanding between local people and officials, in addition to easing a shortage of doctors.

Before traveling to a village, the mobile unit will coordinate with the village head, or community leader, to get information about the number of sick people and the security situation. The mobile medical team will work with local leaders to survey the sickness situation in each locality.

The mobile doctors sometimes meet injured persons, who have created unrest in the southern border provinces. They provide them with treatment and never refuse to accept them as patients. Apart from providing health care, mobile doctors also arrange training on health care for young people in various local schools. The project has received a positive response from local residents. It has also reduced suspicion between officials and people.

Mobile doctors are found to have played a significant role in winning the hearts of local people in the deep South. They knock at the doors of various houses to ask about the welfare of each family. A team of security guards will provide protection for both local people and officials, as well, during the operations of the mobile medical units.

The operations of traveling doctors are in response to His Majesty the King’s royal advice to “understand, reach out, and develop.” The royal advice is based on loving-kindness extended to all people wherever they live and regardless of their faiths.

This mobile unit project is seen as a way to tackle southern problems in a holistic manner. It is also an effective strategy to heal the wounds and dispel mistrust in the deep south of Thailand.

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 -The Thailand Productivity Institute (TPI) is hosting the 57th Asian Productivity Organization (APO) meeting with the aim of promoting cooperation among member nations.

Industry Minister Chakramol Pasukvanich said the conference will encourage members to achieve their goals by 2020. Around 100 delegates attending the event include high ranking officials from 20 countries in Asia.

They include India, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Iran, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Fiji, Mongolia, Laos, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand.

The APO was established in 1961 to increase economic productivity in the Asia-Pacific region with regional cooperation. The three day event being held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, will come to an end tomorrow.

Bangkok, 28 April 2015 - Concerned about food security, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has initiated model farms in many areas of the country to teach local villagers how to be self-sufficient with their food supply. Many model farms have been established in the southern border provinces, and they have greatly benefited victims of violence.

One example can be found in Wang Phaya subdistrict, Raman district, Yala province, where almost 200 families used to feel hopeless. But their lives have been transformed because of the benevolence of Her Majesty the Queen, who helped establish the Wang Phaya – Tha Thong model farm.

Her Majesty was concerned over the villagers affected by unrest in the deep South. Many of them have lost their family members in the unrest and found it difficult to earn a living for themselves and their dependents. She asked General Naphon Buntup, Deputy Chief Aide-de-Camp General to Her Majesty, to find a plot of land to set up a model farm in Yala in order to create a source of employment and income generation for local residents, especially those affected by the unrest.

In response to the wishes of Her Majesty, General Naphon selected an area in Raman district to establish the Wang Phaya – Tha Thong model farm. This royally sponsored project was launched in 2006. Like other model farms, it serves as a center for transferring knowledge on agriculture to local villagers, based on the principle of self-reliance and with an emphasis on the use of local materials.

The Wang Phaya – Tha Thong model farm covers an area of 98 acres, where villagers plant many kinds of vegetables and raise such animals as fish, ducks, chickens, and goats. Five mushroom farms and a goat milk processing plant were also built.

About 150 farmers living around the area take turn working in the model farm, where agriculture officials provide them with efficient techniques for crop cultivation, animal husbandry, aquatic animal farming, and forest conservation. They are paid for working and being trained at the farm, as well.

The model farm has developed so well that local villagers can produce crops for sale in the market and have enough food for consumption. Its operations are based on His Majesty the King’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy, which emphasizes sufficiency, self-reliance, and moderation.

In this model farm, people learn about making a living in a sustainable way. The project has also brought officials and local people closer together for better understanding.

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 -The Ministry of Commerce has revised the export target to 1.2% this year, weighed down by the prices of farm and industrial goods.

According to the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, Chutima Boonyaprapatsorn, the decline in Thai exports during the first quarter accounted for a -4.69% on-year drop.

The stronger Thai Baht is also said to have contributed to the rising prices of farm and industrial goods. Several types of products, particularly rubber, cooking oil, rice, frozen shrimps and plastic beads have seen lower export demands from other countries. The trade deficit still stands at 1.4 billion US dollars.

The Ministry of Commerce has decided to revise the export growth to 1.2% this year, or around 203 billion dollars' worth of Thai exports. However, the Permanent Secretary said the figure is also subject to other factors, such as the global economy and regional economy.

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015  – The Interior Ministry has designated Dhamrongdham Centers nationwide to receive donations in cash and kind for people affected by the earthquake in Nepal, according to Wiboon Sanguanphong, Permanent Secretary for Interior.

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015  - The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has affirmed that the National Reform Council (NRC) will vote to approve of the draft charter on August 6. However, the current military regime may need to extend its tenure in the event of a public referendum.

CDC Chairman Prof. Borwornsak Uwanno revealed that the committee will submit the revised draft charter to the NRC by July 23. The reform body is scheduled to vote on August 6 whether it approves of the new constitution.

If the new constitution is approved, then it will be submitted for royal approval by September 4. An election would be held between February and March the following year.

If the new constitution is rejected, the whole drafting process must be restarted, extending the tenure of the current administration and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

In order to hold a public referendum, the Cabinet and NCPO must give the National Legislative Assembly permission to amend the current interim constitution to include a public referendum on the draft charter.

This move would result in the election being postponed until May the following year, thereby also extending the regime's tenure.

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015  - The National Reform Council (NRC) committee on agriculture, industry, commerce, tourism and services has published a report on methods to expand market opportunities and increase trade value for Thai operators.

The committee reported that Thailand has historically relied on foreign investments and imported raw materials to drive its manufacturing sector. Most of the export profits therefore belong to foreign operators.

Meanwhile, the agriculture and tourism sectors not only produce low-value products, but are also subject instability due to climate change and political unrest. These factors have resulted in stagnant national development.

The committee has proposed that small and medium-sized enterprises across all sectors be strengthened in terms of innovation and diversity. The reform panel added that businesses should be encouraged to expand into new markets through a national strategic plan.

Most NRC members agreed to draft policies that would mobilize business operators in agriculture, industry and service sectors to improve human resources, management and investments.

Furthermore, the committee claimed that indigenous practices should be incorporated into appropriate services and products in order to enhance customer value added.