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His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great has realized that Thailand is a fundamentally agricultural country and most of his subjects in the rural areas are farmers. Throughout his reign, His Majesty has visited and studied the ways of life of his subjects in every region across the country.

Having witnessed barren landscapes and sufferings of people in every corner of Thailand, His Majesty the King analyzed the causes of the problems and proposed solutions that would bring about sustainable national development.

Among these is the philosophy of a “Sufficiency Economy” which aims at enhancing the quality of life of people and local communities so that they will become self-reliant, thus achieving sustainable development.

In more detail, His Majesty has based his New Theory on four principles:

  • Firstly, the theory applies to small farmers holding about 15 rai, or about six acres, an average cultivation area for Thai farmers.
  • Secondly, farmers must be able to support themselves adequately. They must also realize the need for unity and compassion in the community so as to support one another.
  • Thirdly, each farm household should be able to grow enough rice for its whole year's consumption, under the assumption that each family can be self-reliant by growing rice on an area of five rai.
  • Fourthly, water must be available even in the dry season, averaging about 1,000 cubic meters per rai the whole year-round.

According to the New Theory, the average family's 15 rai of land will be divided into four parts in a ratio of 30: 30: 30:10. The first 30 percent, or 4.5 rai, is meant for a pond to support cultivation.

A pond about four meters deep holds up to 19,000 cubic meters of rainwater, for the whole year's crop cultivation. The pond may also bring in additional income from aquatic animals and plants.