CHIANG MAI, 19 December 2014 – Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali yesterday proceeded to the auditorium of Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai Province, to preside over the opening of the Royal Project Fair 2014. The fair is organized annually to honor His Majesty the King on the occasion of his birthday on 5 December and to publicize the success of royal agricultural research projects.
His Majesty the King began the Royal Project in the northern part of Thailand in 1969 to help hilltribe people grow useful crops that would give higher income than growing opium. The Project is also intended to change the traditional farming method of cutting down and burning the forest conducted by hilltribe villagers, which has led to forest destruction and deterioration of soil quality.
The Royal Project Fair 2014 features both an exhibition on His Majesty’s work to develop the northern highlands and a market of fruits, flowers and handicrafts from the 38 development centers under the Royal Project. These centers help farmers distribute and sell highland produce while improving their quality of life through education, healthcare and environmental conservation.
In this year’s fair, new strains of fruits and vegetables are also on display. Among them are heart-shaped bitter cucumber, Siamese tulip, new strains of chrysanthemum and radish. The Royal Project Fair 2014 will continue until 21 December.