4th Army Region Commander Lt Gen Santi Sakuntanark has inaugurated the 6th annual “From Abandoned Paddies to Cherished Paddies” initiative in Songkhla Province to promote community-based tourism and to reinforce the multicultural societal fabric of the region.
The objective is to encourage the restoration of neglected rice fields, engaging both Thai Buddhist and Muslim farmers in the area to revive rice cultivation. The presence of dignitaries such as the Deputy Chief Monk of Songkhla Province, the Abbot of Na Thawi Temple, the Assistant Secretary-General of the SBPAC, and local government and religious leaders, highlighted the community-wide support for the initiative.
Lt Gen Santi emphasized the significance of unity and love in the community, as reflected in the collaborative rice planting activity that has seen increasing participation from both Buddhist and Muslim Thai communities. He also affirmed that the Army stands ready to fully support this activity in extending its reach further into the southern border provinces.
The “From Abandoned Paddies to Cherished Paddies” project, initially inspired by the Deputy Chief Monk of Songkhla and the Abbot of Na Thawi Temple, has sought to engage the community in collective activities. Since its inception in 2017, it has rejuvenated over 15 years of abandoned farmland, now covering 12 rai of land, into productive rice fields to support local consumption and provide additional income for farmers through the sale of surplus produce. (NNT)