50-year-old royal fish project helping poor today
published : 15 Mar 2016 at 14:45
writer: Patsara Jikkham
The progeny of Nile tilapia fish donated by Japan to His Majesty the King 50 years ago today are helping poor rural residents cut expenses by about 10 billion baht a year.
PM's Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul hosted an exhibition on Nil tilapia at Government House on Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of His Majesty's donation of the fish he bred at Chitralada Palace in Bangkok to the Fisheries Department for propagation and distribution to the public.
The royally granted fish were grown from the 50 tilapia that the King received from then-Crown Prince and now Emperor Akihito in 1965.
As the fish grew and bred quickly, His Majesty assigned the Fisheries Department to grow their population and distribute them to people regularly for food and farming. He named the fish "Nil", after the Nile River where the species of Egyptian tilapia originated.
"The department has proceeded with the project and is distributing about 200,000 tonnes of tilapia to people annually. Given their price of 50-60 baht per kilogramme, the donation is valued at about 10 billion baht and helps people earn money and provide food," ML Panadda said.
Nil tilapia was served at lunch for cabinet ministers and reporters at Government House on Tuesday.