In the initial stage, the Royal Development Projects can be characterized by the two following features:
1.The projects which are His Majesty's private study, research and implementation. These projects are tantamount to equipping His Majesty with information and all-round knowledge for uses in solving the problems and for dissemination among farmers. These projects also enable him to seek correct development guidelines appropriate to the topographical and social conditions of the areas.
2.The projects which are aimed at solving the major problems facing the people. Since Thai farmers are increasingly encountering problems and obstacles in their agricultural practices, His Majesty has stepped in to help tackle the ordeal based on his private projects. In the early phase, these projects which were supported by the concept of integrated development were limited only within the surrounding areas of his residence in the countryside. As the projects became evidently effective, they started expanding into agricultural communities on a wider scope.
The Royal Development Projects which exist in a great number and variety can be classified as follows:
1. The Projects Initiated According to His Majesty's Wishes:
These are projects which His Majesty the King conducts study, experimentation and implementation himself inside and outside the Palace compound based on the recommendations of field experts, using his private funds. Once the projects have yielded satisfactory results which prove truly beneficial for the Thai people, His Majesty will pass them on to the government for further implementation.
2. The Royal Projects:
His Majesty is determined to pursue development and preservation of water resources in the watershed areas particularly in the North of Thailand. The motive is to help prevent and reduce the damages from floods in the lowlands during droughts. Moreover, since most of the areas are occupied by hilltribes, His Majesty also intends to help promote their well-being by convincing them to stop opium cultivation, deforestation, slash-and-burn activity, logging as well as smuggling of illegal merchandises and weapons. His Majesty has provided assistance and advice on alternative sources of income by persuading them to replace the above-mentioned activities with cultivation of high value rotation crops easy to be transported. Planting of temperate flowers and fruit crops which have the tendency to grow well in high land areas of the north and the raising of animals for household consumption are also promoted. The benevolence of Their Majesties the King and the Queen is so great that they are called “The Royal Father” and “The Royal Mother” by the hilltribe people. And therefore, the projects created by the Royal Parents are known as “The Royal Projects”.
3. The Projects under His Majesty's Patronage:
These are projects in which His Majesty gives advice and guidelines to the private sector to implement using its own financial, technical and human resources with continual monitoring measures. Among the well-known projects are the Nern Din Daeng Cooperative Village Development Project at Thap Sakae District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province which is operated by the Rotary Club of Thailand; the Dictionary Project and the Thai Encyclopedia for Youth Project.
4.The Royal Development Projects:
These are projects which His Majesty plans and advises the government agencies concerned including civil agencies, the police and the military to undertake study and implementation of development work. The Royal Development Projects which are spread throughout every region of the country focus on development and are on both short-term and long-term bases extending for a period of over five years. Many Royal Development Projects are technical in nature with some representing study projects and others representing research projects.