The Soil and Fertilizer Society of Thailand (SFST) has won the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2023, conferred by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The UN in December 2013 designated Dec 5 as World Soil Day to acknowledge and honour the lifelong work of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great and his significant contribution to improving living conditions in communities through sustainable soil management.
This is in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals in environment management, food security and eradication of hunger.
The award is sponsored by Thailand and the FAO and was established in 2013 to encourage countries throughout the world to launch sustainable soil management activity to achieve the UN’s goals.
Rapeepat Chantarasriwong, director-general of the Agriculture Department, announced this year's award winner on Tuesday. He also chairs the SFST.
He said the SFST launched a soil management activity last year under the concept of “Soils, Where Food Begins” to raise awareness of soil conservation for sustainability and emphasise the role of soil as the beginning of food and many lives.
Government agencies, the civil society sector, privately-run foundations and the agricultural sector including the World Soil Association, Agri-Nature Foundation, the Department of Land Development, the Agricultural Department, Kasetsart University and Maejo University, all contributed.
The effort was later vetted by a UN committee comprising representatives from soil resource-related organisations, which named SFST the winner.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the celebration of World Soil Dayon Tuesday. It was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives at Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre in Chachoengsao.
The princess presented the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award to the SFST on behalf of the UN.
"It is a source of pride for all Thais to receive the award this year and for the first time over the past 10 years,” deputy government spokeswoman Rudklao Suwankiri said.