The Royal Project Foundation is a program set up by the King of Thailand in 1969. The aim of the project was to encourage farmers to grow crops other than poppies (which fueled the drug trade and supported all sorts of unsavory characters).
According to their website:
“Under the directorship of H.S.H. Prince Bhisatej Rajani,this Royal Project has pursued its mission in collaboration with the Royal Thai government, foreign governments, universities, public and private agencies and volunteers.”
The website lists the four goals of the program:
1. Offer a helping hand to all humankind;
2. Ensure natural resources for conserving a sustainable future;
3. Eradicate opium poppy cultivation and opium derived addiction problems;
4. Encourage a wise and proper balance in utilising and conserving land and forest resources.
From what I understand, the program has been successful. Michael Yon, in a Facebook post, stated that he will be doing some further investigation of the project to see how it might be used in Afghanistan. Since Michael will be returning to Afghanistan shortly, I hope he will be able to share his information and see it put to good use.