Peaches, pears and plums preferable to poppies
Peach Research at the Royal Angkhang Agricultural Station
Photos: Michael Vogt
His Majesty the King of Thailand in 1969 initiated and
encouraged the cultivation of cash crops in the north, instead of opium.
Cash crops can - and sometimes do - fetch higher prices than the illegal
But to suddenly teach hill tribe communities, who lived
for centuries on the cultivation of the poppy, to grow fruits which they had
neither seen nor tasted before and which require so much more work, was not
an easy task.
It must have been even harder to expect and introduce
organic farming techniques to a slash and burn society that was still not
100 percent confident that this is healthier.
long table, different kinds of plums, berries and peaches - eat as much as
you can, but tell us which one you like best!
To make this a reality, His Majesty found another
like-minded soul in HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani, who became chairman of the
Royal Project Foundation. Under his supervision, the area around Doi
Angkhang really has become ‘amazing’ Thailand. Poppy fields have been
replaced by peaches, plums, pears, strawberries, asparagus, avocados,
persimmons and apricots. Even a kiwi fruit experimental plot is part of the
agricultural station on Tanaosri Mountain, not even five kilometers from the
Myanmar border and 160 km north of Chiang Mai (near enough for a Sunday
Apple tries ripe juicy plums and finds them delicious.
During the cool months, the temperatures may drop to zero
degrees Celsius and even during the almost unbearable hot season in Chiang
Mai it is still cool in the evenings - thanks to an altitude of 1,400
The Royal Angkhang Agricultural Station is still
experimenting in improving its fruits in texture, shape, color, and taste.
And it is possible for you to become an ‘official fruit taster’ -
tourists, local residents, men, women, children, Thais, foreigners,
everybody is welcome. All you have to do is note down (on a scale from 1-5)
which ones you like and which ones you did not. And you are allowed to come
back and re-taste if you are not quite sure!
course there is the shop where you can get all the agricultural products as
well as plants to take home.
Since the beginnings, up till today, the peaches have been improved in
texture and taste. They can withstand transportation to local markets. And
the Chiangmai Mail’s personal peach tester can assure you that the fruits
are mouth wateringly delicious, the trip to the station more than incredible
with the sights being like touring in the Alps and a Sunday trip is one of
the most relaxing and peaceful experiences you can have.
“THAI cargo, Thai care” shown at Shanghai expo
THAI getting ready for expansion
The national Thai carrier, Thai Airways
International (THAI), has participated in the Air Cargo China 2004
Exhibition. This event is a significant air transportation exhibition, which
was established by Air Cargo Week magazine and is held every year. Shanghai
was chosen this year as it is the largest business and industrial city in
China. Last year’s exhibition was held in Munich.
The THAI cargo and mail commercial department presented a
display booth and reported that more than 39,000 people from various
organizations such as airlines and commercial mail businesses participated
in the event on May 11-14 at Shanghai New International Expo Center. It was
supported by The A-Z Group and Transport Logistic China.
Chanchai Singtoroj, managing director of the THAI cargo
and mail commercial department, said that the main purpose of the exhibition
was to show support for the Thailand and China free trade agreement.
THAI has also set up a booth at the new Suvarnabhumi
Airport promoting the airline’s cargo and commercial mail department. At
Suvarnabhumi, THAI has an international cargo area of 90,000 square meters,
and during the first phase will be able to handle about 966,000 tons of air
cargo annually. The handling capacity will expand to 1,226,000 tons a year
There are plans to introduce a customs free zone to
reduce the customs process and prepare Bangkok to be the cargo hub of Asia.
Today, THAI flies to seven destinations in China -
Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and the newest destination
Jinghong (Chiangrung). Thailand and China currently have strong air
transportation potential, which will continue to grow for the next 20 years.
In 2002, air cargo transport in China was over 16.2 billion tons, which
ranked number five in the world and increases annually.
THAI implements strategy to
attempt to be the best in Asia
Thai Airways International (THAI) recently
held a commercial conference under the topic “We Go for the Best” at the
Tide Resort, Bangsaen Beach, Chonburi. THAI’s management and general managers
Kanok Abhiradee, THAI president, said that the conference
aimed to establish the airline’s commercial strategies to achieve its
“Towards Asian Leadership” objectives.
president, Kanok Abhiradee, with Kobchai Srivilas, senior executive
vice-president corporate planning and information technology services
department; Suthep Suebsantiwongse, executive vice-president commercial
department; management, and general managers.
Its mission, as discussed at the conference, emphasized the
* To increase revenue with a focus on premium customers and
to target more premium customers at 30,000 annually worldwide.
* To establish precise measuring standards and to improve
profitable routes by increasing weekly flights on routes in Europe such as
London and Frankfurt, and in Asia such as Kolkata, Bombay, Guangzhou, Chengdhu,
* To assure a full load on every flight.
* To drive business with seamless connections.
* To work closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to
strengthen travel business. In this regard, the carrier’s president stressed
that THAI’s general managers in its offices worldwide improve the working
focal points towards a customer-oriented purpose, from agents to end-customers,
with an understanding of their behavior.
A monthly sales report from each station should also be
provided to Head Office for sales improvement. In addition, every general
manager should keep in mind that showing initiative and being proactive by
setting clear-cut objectives will bring about corporate strategies and aid the
commercial department to work effectively.
THAI’s president also requested general managers to
professionally control and manage internal operations with good governance,
aligning the strategic planning with the government’s free-trade policy which
will consequently make the airline competitive and drive THAI towards Asian
The conference included discussion on THAI’s total communications
development over a 10-year period as well as a workshop including SWOT analysis
(Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) for the commercial department to aim
towards further implementing the strategic planning and operation.