Midway between the towns of Kalasin and Sakon Nakhon, the Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre provides a working example of how considered, practical changes can provide a tremendously positive impact for local communities.
The Royal Project Foundation was established by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1969 in order to manage his many and varied charitable and research projects in Thailand.
For the past 50 years, the foundation has provided support and guidance for numerous innovative projects, helping local communities to build sustainable agricultural practices in largely rural locations.
One of the most remote projects can be found at Phu Phan, in the northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon. Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre is home to a thriving organic rice and vegetable programme.
The centre is also well known around the world for its livestock breeding programme which has resulted in the “Magnificent Three Blacks of Phu Phan” – chicken, pig, and cow.
It took three years to produce the Phu Phan Black Chicken. The result of a selective breeding programme based upon an indigenous breed, the chickens are recognizable for their black plumage, black skin, black meat and even black bones.
The Phu Phan Black Pig, on the other hand, is derived from a breed originally presented as a gift to Her Majesty Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from the People’s Republic of China. The black pigs are ideally suited to the region’s wide variety of temperatures, produce large litters and relish the abundance of locally grown food.
Similarly, the Black Beef stock are descended from a breed also presented as a gift to Her Majesty Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from the people of Japan. The original breed was developed to thrive in the local climate and are now suitable for farming throughout Thailand’s diverse environments.
This trio of striking, black livestock now provide local farmers with profitable and sustainable means of living as a result of years of dedicated development, which the Royal Project Foundation continues to support and encourage.