Flowers, agriculture and northern culture will merge for four months as the Chiang Mai Horticultural Festival returns to Chaloemphrakiat Ratchaphruek 2006 Park.
The festival, which began Nov. 1, saw its official opening Nov. 27 with Highland Research and Development Institute Director Wirat Prappruk presiding over the ceremonies. It runs through Feb. 28.
The festival began in 2006 when the Agriculture and Co-operatives Ministry organized the World Horticultural Fair at the Royal Agricultural Research Center in Hang Dong District. Twelve years later, in 2018, the HDRI was instructed to revive the event and take over management of the park to develop a horticulture learning center and an agricultural and cultural tourist attraction.
A major target of the learning center is the North’s hilltribe peoples who have transitioned from growing opium to vegetables, fruits, flowers, coffee and bio-products.
The institute seeks to create better quality of life for the 4,000 groups of homes sitting 500 meters above sea level in the greater Chiang Mai area.
Poverty is severe there and has been exacerbated by degradation of the watershed environment.