Celebration of World Soil Day in Honor of His Majesty the King

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will organize activities to celebrate World Soil Day, December 5, in honor of His Majesty the King, who is recognized as Humanitarian Soil Scientist.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on November 20, acknowledged the proposal by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on the celebration of World Soil Day.

The Chairman of the International Union of Soil Sciences, Dr. Stephen Northcliff, in his audience with His Majesty the King on April 16 this year at Siriraj Hospital, presented the Humanitarian Soil Scientist award to His Majesty the King, honoring him as the first recipient of the award in the world for his dedication to soil resource management.

The 17th World Congress of Soil Science, held in Bangkok in August 2002, showed to the world at large His Majesty the King’s ingenuity in solving various soil problems and soil use to help in cultivation. His work has inspired many international soil scientists to follow and help develop further methods to improve sustainable soil management. The International Union of Soil Sciences made a resolution in 2002 to propose the 5th of December, the birthday of His Majesty, as World Soil Day to honor His Majesty the King of Thailand for his promotion of soil science and soil resource conservation.

Recognizing the crucial role of soils for food security and considering the enormous challenges for their sustainable management and protection, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) decided in June this year, for the first time, to celebrate World Soil Day in 2012, with the theme “Securing healthy soils for a food secure world,” and to advocate widely to place soils at the top of the development agenda worldwide. The annual celebration of World Soil Day aims to highlight the importance of soil to societies across the world and the need to use it on a sustainable basis.

In tackling soil degradation, for instance, His Majesty the King called for the use vetiver grass to stop soil erosion. His Majesty initiated the klaeng din project in the southern province of 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. This innovation has brought about soil fertility, enabling farmers to grow many plant species.