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In Remembrance of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej
New Theory Approach Devised by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

4 November 2016 (Readers 1468)

In the beginning, when His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej introduced the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy, many people had difficulty understanding precisely what it meant. But an earlier application of its principles can be found in the "New Theory," an approach His Majesty devised to advance agricultural practices and the management of small agricultural areas.
The New Theory is an example of how the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy can generate practical benefits. His Majesty unveiled the theory with a model of a self-reliant family farm. In 1989, he began experimenting with the model on a small plot in Saraburi province.
The New Theory farming system advocates dividing a farmers total land area into four, well-defined plots in the ratio 30:30:30:10. The first plot (30%) is for water storage; the second (30%) is for cultivating rice to ensure that households have a years supply; the third (30%) is used to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbal plants for household consumption, with surpluses sold to earn additional income. The last and smallest plot (10%) contains the family dwellings and outbuildings for raising livestock.
Dividing the land into these proportions enables farmers to optimize agricultural activities in an efficient manner. In the New Theory, soil fertilization, weed control, and pest control use natural methods. The production system maximizes synergies between livestock and crops and makes the household self-reliant. His Majesty stressed that this as a basic model that could be easily modified to different regions, where soil, water, and cropping conditions vary.
The New Theory offers a foundation of self-reliance and a way to gradually improve a farmers standard of living while providing immunity against the fluctuations of the market or unpredictable natural disasters, but implementation requires patience and perseverance to overcome any problems that may arise.
The important message of this theory was His Majestys conclusions about how to achieve real development with real benefits for ordinary people. Progress should also be achieved in stages.
As a tribute to the late King Bhumibol, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is launching a project to spread the application of the New Theory approach by developing New Theory farms nationwide. A target has been set to create 70,000 New Theory farms across the country by 2017.
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