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HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited RMUTL for Plant Development Project HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Prince Chakraband Pensiri Center for Plant Development to see the plant development project by RMUTL. Assoc. Prof. Numyoot Songthanapitak, along with teaching staff and students from RMUTL, welcomed Her Royal Highness and gave the progress report of the project at Prince Chakraband Pensiri Center for Plant Development in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, on 10th February, 2016. In 2015, Rajamagala University of Technology Lanna (RMUTL) was granted the royal consent to commence the project at Prince Chakraband Center on the land plot of roughly 27,200 square meters. The project comprised 4 tasks with the focus on vegetables and food plants. The details are as explained below. Task One focused on the development of vegetable species that are well-adapted with the upper northern types of environment such as tomatoes, chilli, cucumbers, green beans, and pumpkins. The developed species were collected and planted for the sole purpose of their preservation. The specimens were and will be continuously researched in order to improve their quality, and the information on the plant’s characteristics were collected for plant registrations. Task Two focused on the assessment of the growth rate of local pumpkins, both small and large types in 2015. The information on the pumpkins were thoroughly documented in order to select the best species for plant registration. The assessment was accomplished by comparing the produce rate of the local species of pumpkins with the commercial one’s. Task Three involved producing vegetable seeds in 10 varieties, namely, round eggplant, goat pepper, guinea pepper, chilli, green bean, cucumber, pumpkin, sponge gourd, cow pea, and false pakchoi. Task Four was mainly about the management of pest control at Prince Chakraband Pensiri Center for Plant Development. Prince Chakraband Pensiri Center for Plant Development is one of the royal projects initiated by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Her Royal Highness had designated the Chaipattana Foundation and the Mae Fah Luang Foundation to establish the Chakraband Pensiri Center for Plant Development in commemoration of the 100th Birthday Anniversary of His Highness Prince Chakrabandh Pensiri, who was a distinguished ﬁgure in the development and promotion of agriculture in Thailand. He laid the foundation for traditional agriculture to be developed into sustainable agriculture. The Center was situated in the area which measures approximately 220,000 square meters, at Pong Pha, Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, with an objective to develop high quality seeds with high resistance to diseases and pests to be given out to local farmers. By the royal consent, the Center
was ofﬁcially opened on 20th July, 2009. In the initial stage of the project, HRH Princess Sirindhorn granted RMUTL to participate in the Project with the Center in terms of food plants. The pilot food plants were ﬁeld crops, plants in the gourd family, and vegetables. The Chaipattana Foundation, together with the Mae Fah Luang Foundation and Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, jointly worked to collect the specimens of local food plant varieties in order to select the best ones for distribution among farmers. These plant specimens would be assessed according to their quality, disease-resistant levels, and rate of agricultural produce. A future project is being prepared by the Center on the development of food plants that are necessary to the daily life which the farmers can depend on. Though these food plants may not be the best varieties economically speaking, but they are sufﬁciently appropriate for the lives of the local farmers in the long run.
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