The grounds of Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace on Rajavithi Road. But Chitralada is not the conventional palace. Situated within the royal compounds are a host of projects, such as an agricultiral project, a dairy farm, a fish farm, and a candle-making factory.
In 1952, a project to breed the "Nilotical Africane" or in Thai, the "pla moh tet" fingerlings were distributed to fish breeders in various villages throughout the country.
Much later, in 1965, HRH Prince Akihito, the Crown Prince of Japan, presented 50 Tilapia Nolotica" (known in Thai as "pla nin") to H.M. the King. This project was met with great success and very soon 10,000 "pla nin" fingerlings were distributed to fish breeders throughout the country.
In 1962 five dairy cows and one bull were presented to H.M. the King. Since then, the breeding of dairy cattle has been on of the major projects at Chitralada. The farm is also involved in methords of milk preservation; this of course includes the manufacture of the SUAN DUSIT powdered milk.
In addition to this project, officials travel around the country to introduce diary producing processes. Presently the Chitralada dairy farm has 55 cows.
Manure obtained from the cows in transformed into cooking gas which is in turn used in the production of milk as well as for fertilizer. The milk produced from the farm is pasteurized and packaged for distribution to grocery shops and supermarkets.
To maximize the use of milk, in 1984, H.M. the King experimented with the production of milk pellets. Presently 6,000 to 8,000 bags of milk pellets are produced daily.
Project officials at Chitralada palace are also involved in the production of Roselle tea, sugar cane juice, and watercress nectar. These are packaged into tea bags, cans and bottles respectively. Once these are markted successfully, the next project to be launched will be ginger tea.
\In 1971, H.M. the King was presened with some models of rice mills. Because of this, he decided to set up his own experimental rice mill. Barns were built to store pre-milled rice. H.M. the King devised a system whereby newly milled, rice could be sent
directly to the barn without having to let people carry them over. In 1986, project officials devised away in which rice husks and rice germs could be used as fuel.
Adjacent to the rice mill is a demonstration paddy field. Rice harvested from the demonstration paddy field is used in the auspicious annual ploughing ceremony, which was revived in 1960. The Green House Laboratory, another project of H.M. the King, is involved in the
preservation of endangered plant species. Research in the treatment of poor soil conditions is also being undertaken. Coconut shavings mixed with sand has proven to be an accelerator of plant growth.
Another innovative project of H.M. the King is the producing of alcohol for engine fuel. These are obtained from sugar cane, pineapples and molasses. Once in the early 60's, H.M. the King spotted some rubber growing along the highway in Petchburi province. Soon afterwards in July of 1961, 1,250 rubber
trees were transported from this stretch to be grown in the compounds of Chitralada Palace. Rubber seeds were also planted at Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin.
In 1986 H.M. the King initiated a project to make quality candles for ceremonial purposes. These is also a section in the palace compounds that is in charge of maintaining and upkeeping ceremonial ware e.g., trays, candle holders, vases, altars.
Water hyacinths are being used in the treatment of waste water as well as supplement for animal feed. All these and many more are being experimented and researched at the Chitralada Palace.
Written by : Prof. Poon Kesjamras, King Bhumibol the great, "See The Highlights of the Royal obligation, P.145 - 152