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The Royal-initiated Pak Phanang River Basin Development Project, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province




His Majesty the King gave initiatives on solving the problems affecting the Pak Phanang River Basin and on the development of the basin on several occasions. The first initiative was given in December of 1988 after the big flood in November. The following occasions were in 1992, first on October 9 when His Majesty visited the pumping station at Khok Khoo Wae Village in Tak Bai District in Narathiwat Province and later on October 11th at the pumping station in To Lang Village in the same province. On both occasion, His Majesty gave initiatives to the Royal Irrigation Department to consider constructing the Pak Phanang Watergate at Pak Phanang District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to prevent intrusion of saline water and to store fresh water as well as constructing the drainage canal system to alleviate the flooding problem and the water distribution system to support farming in the Pak Phanang River Basin. The most recent occasion was on October 2 in 1993 during an audience with the steering committee of the Royal- initiated Pak Phanang River Basin Development Project at Daksin Palace. He stated

“…Build a watergate at the river mouth, about 3 kilometres from Pak Phanang District. This is considered to be a method to solve all the problems, meaning that this will serve as an important key for the project. It will solve all the problems ranging from water shortage, flooding and saline water, and can supply the people with water for consumption and agricultural activities… Although the watergate alone will not solve all the problems which in turns needs the implementation of continuing projects, it is the starting point of the solution. From this point, we can do everything and separate it into various projects…”

On November 16, 2002, His Majesty visited the Reforestation Project in Honour of Golden Jubilee of His Majesty’s Reign implemented by the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) at Pran Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province . There he gave an initiative stating that a water regulator be constructed to control the water level at Khuan Khreng Swamp to be suitable for preventing fires. Then on August 15, 2008, while monitoring the implementation results of the Project in relation with agricultural promotion, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn gave initiatives summarized as follows:

  • consider using abandoned vacant land for rice farming in a comprehensive and integrated manner both in terms of rice species, rice drying place, rice silo, rice mill and marketing
  • For rice silo, it should be inexpensive like those found in the locality and make a catalogue to show various packages and prices of each local products.
  • For the operation of the rice mill that Nakhon Si Thammarat Province will support the community, the manager should learn from actual practice in order to have the knowledge for the management of every stage of production and proceed steps by steps. The practice might be put into a manual and should be a model for other people to see. There should also be rewards for those who have good work performance.
  • In other vacant areas where rice farming is not promoted, the implementations involve:


    • discussing with the Subdistrict Administrative Organization in the making of a land use plan appropriate to agricultural promotion
    • building an agro-processing plant that does not produce waste to the community
    • promote exporting of pamelo in the Pak Phanang River Basin e.g. Tubtim Siam species which has a good taste to overseas in order to increase the farmers’ income


1. To store fresh water for use in the Pak Phanang River and its tributaries as well as prevent the intrusion of saline water into the farming areas.

2. To solve the environmental problems caused by the operations of various projects as well as monitor and control the quality of the environment at present.

3. To study and analyze the efficiency of the measures to mitigate the impacts and modify the measures to be more suitable as well as make a plan for sustainable use of the natural resources.

4. To uplift the living standard and the well-being of the people.

5. To develop the occupations and the agricultural produce in a comprehensive manner.

6. To control the quantity of weeds and water hyacinths within a limit.

7. To enhance the drainage capacity in natural canals.

8. To transfer the technology of sustainable farming system of sea water shrimp among the farmers in the Pak Phanang River Basin.


Areas of Implementation:

Pak Phanang District, Hua Sai District, Chian Yai District, Cha-uat District and Mueang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province

Responsible Agencies:

  1. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives: Royal Irrigation Department, Department of Land Development, and Department of Agricultural Extension
  2. Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment: Department of Forestry and Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
  3. Office of the Prime Minister: Public Relations Department
  4. Ministry of Education: Prince of Songkhla University and Walailuk University

Years of Implementation:

Since 1994


1. To enhance the work efficiency of the Project’s headquarters in the coordination, the operation and the monitoring of the work implementations of the agencies involved. The aim is to create channels for people participation in the development process by providing an access to information to support effective decision making and enable the Project’s subcommittee and the working groups to work together in a cohesive manner.

2. To develop the agricultural occupations in the project area by soil improvement, to assist in planning the agricultural development to match with the needs of the farmers and the conditions of the area as well as to promote the development of the quality of farm produce so as to increase the farmers’ income.

3. To conserve, rehabilitate and develop the forest resource, in particular the swamp forest in the Pak Phanang River Basin area, and prevent it from being damaged by forest fires by promoting people participation.


Additional Comments:

  1. The development of the occupations which involves the development of the quality of rice and pamelo in the Pak Phanang River Basin covering a farming area of 747.52 hectares (4,672 rai) will help to add the value to the fruit and solve the problem of decreasing prices of the fruit.
  2. The survey of information on the need to improve farm production of sea water shrimp farmers enable us to learn about the sociological aspects of the farmers which will be useful for the formulation of the Occupational Development Activity Plan.
  3. The application of the theory on soil acidity aggravation and amelioration as practiced at the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Centre in Narathiwat Province will help maximize the efficiency of the irrigation system in the area as well as enhance the people’s knowledge and understanding of the proper management of acidic soil.
  4. The project to control and utilize water hyacinths in the Pak Phanang Basin can reduce the quantity of the plant in rivers and canals and make proper use of the plant such as in producing bio-fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, animal fodder and mushroom medium for no less then 3,000 tonnes per year. The project can also serve as a model for the limination of water hyacinths for other areas.
  5. The development activity for swamp forests in the basin can help conserve, rehabilitate and develop the forests while preventing them from being affected by wild fires which usually occur in the dry season. The activity also promotes people participation.