His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on December 28 visited people in Tambon Huay Sat Yai, in Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. The villagers of Huay Sat Yai welcomed the King with a play they performed in the open, reminiscing about His Majesty the King’s benevolence in establishing a cooperative in the village in 1967.

At that time, His Majesty the King, with the help of police paratroopers, recruited hill tribe villagers to live permanently in a settlement for easy development and to persuade them into turning away from shifting cultivation and slash-and-burn agriculture. His Majesty asked related government units to help provide occupational training, education and medical treatment to villagers. In 1977, the Cabinet lent support to the royal project by setting aside a budget to promote an agricultural cooperative system in the village. Villagers were encouraged to raise milk and beef cows, pigs and egg hens as well as growing such economic crops as rubber, durian and mangosteen.

The Huay Sat Yai Pa-deng Pa-La-oo (ห้วยสัตว์ใหญ่ป่าเด็ง-ป่าละอู) Cooperative was registered three years later with a register capital of 400,000 baht granted by HM the King. At present the cooperative has 1,070 members. Ten years later, a Thai-Danish Milk Cow Cooperative was also registered and currently produces 36 tons of milk daily to be supplied to its pasteurized milk producing plant. This cooperative also has an animal feed plant, enabling the 318 cooperative members to earn averagely 700,000 baht a year each. The income allows the cooperative members to have a better living condition and become self reliant.

And in order to ensure sustainable development of the two cooperatives, four reservoirs have been built in the area. Her Royal Highness the late Princess Mother also provided a royal fund to establish a school for children at the cooperatives in 1966. At present the school has 400 children studying from elementary to lower secondary levels (or up to Mathayom Suksa 3). This year His Majesty the King donated personal funds for the construction of living quarters for teachers and as scholarships to students.

Before his return to Klai Kangwon Palace, His Majesty had conversations with farmers and members of the cooperatives, asking them about their living conditions and results of the royal project.

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