11 July 2024

On behalf of His Majesty the King, Privy Councilor General Surayud Chulanont presided over Thailand’s annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony, held in the rice demonstration field in the compound of Chitralada Palace today.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and concern for public safety, the traditional royal ceremony, which marks the beginning of the rice growing season, was relocated from Sanam Luang to the Chitralada Palace.

With the permission of His Majesty the King, five rice strains, weighing 1,458 kilograms, provided by the Rice Department and blessed in a ceremony held at the Temple of Emerald Buddha, were used in the ceremony. They were Dok Mali 105, which is resistant to drought, Pathum Than 1 sticky rice, the Kor Khor 43 rice strain, which can be harvested within 95 days of planting, Kor Khor 6, which is resistant to drought and has a high yield, and Kor Khor 79, which has a high yield and is resistant to brown planthoppers.

After the ceremony, the blessed rice grains are put in small packs to be distributed, free of charge, to farmers throughout the country or anyone who is interested in rice farming.

In past years, the blessed rice grains were scattered on the ground of Sanam Luang, which was ploughed by sacred oxen, in a ceremony conducted by the Ploughing Lord, or Phraya Raekna who, by tradition, is the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

Permanent Secretary Anant Suwanrat is this year’s Ploughing Lord.