The Royal Family of Thailand has

always been a strong supporter of the partnership
between the Government of Thailand and the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), both of
which have been working together to build up the
country’s rice sector for more than half a century.
Cooperation was formalized in 1960, the year IRRI
was established. H.R.H. Prince Chakrabandhu of
Thailand was a founding member of the IRRI Board
of Trustees and served in that capacity from 1960
to 1963. The IRRI Thailand Office was established in

In July 1963, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen
Sirikit visited IRRI to show their support for the Institute. They were among the
first heads of state to visit IRRI in the early days. His Majesty the king (right) is
briefed on the Institute’s research program by Sterling Wortman, IRRI associate

During her August 1991 visit to IRRI, H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has a light moment with
Institute Director General Klaus Lampe.

In August 1991, H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
of Thailand visits IRRI to witness the signing of a Thailand-IRRI
memorandum of understanding for regional research on deepwater rice.

The International Rice Award

In June 1996, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand graciously received The
International Rice Award presented by IRRI at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The gold medal,
the first and only one to be given by the Institute, recognized His Majesty’s devotion to improving the well-being of rice farmers and consumers during his 50-year reign in the Royal
Kingdom of Thailand. H.M. the King has contributed greatly to improving rice production and
encouraging rice research throughout the Kingdom, through initiatives such as multilocation testing programs for genetic evaluation of rice varieties, network studies, integrated pest
management, biotechnology and for studies on soil fertility and the causes of decline in irrigated rice yields. H.M. the King has produced and multiplied foundation seeds and set up a
rice storage bank from which farmers can borrow for family consumption or for planting.

In June 1996, The International Rice Award was presented to His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej (left), led by IRRI’s board chair, Dr. Roelof Rabbinge at the Chitralada Villa.

In September 1997. H.M. the King of Thailand recognizes IRRI under Royal Patronage.
The Institute officially received Royal recognition from His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Recognizing the work of IRRI, His Majesty the King became the Institute’s Royal Patron. The Royal
Plaque, “The Great Crown of Victory”, and a portrait of H.M. the King have been installed inside
IRRI’s main administration building and a second plaque placed in the Institute’s main square. The
unveiling ceremonies were witnessed by H.E. Ampol Senanarong, Privy Councillor (extreme left)
and representative of H.M. the King, the Thai Ambassador to the Philippines, other officials from
the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila, representatives of Thai communities in the Philippines, and IRRI
scientists and staff.

In June 1998,
H.R.H. Princess
Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn graced
the Thai-IRRI
planning meeting,
New Frontiers in
Developing the Rice
Industry in Thailand,
held at the Central
Plaza Hotel in

A letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on
IRRI’s request for Thai Royal Patronage.

Internal memorandum from the Director of International Agriculture to the Director General,
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives summarizing letter on previous page.

In August 2004, IRRI Board of Trustees Chair Keijiro Otsuka, Director General Ron Cantrell,
and Spokesperson Duncan Macintosh paid a courtesy call on His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
in Bangkok and gave recognition of H.M. the King’s life long commitment to improving the lives of
poor rice farmers and consumers.

In August 2009, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej received IRRI Director General
Robert Zeigler for a royal audience at the Klai Kangwan Palace in the coastal city of Hua Hin. They
discussed the International Rice Genebank and IRRI’s work in Thailand.

In November 2009,
Thailand’s Royal Princess visits IRRI.

In November 2009, H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited IRRI to help launch
the Institute’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration.The Royal Princess also cut the ribbon to
open the four-day 6th International Rice Genetics Symposium held in Manila.