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Agronomy Division


Mission

Increase the productivity of coconut lands on a sustainable basis and the profitability of coconut farming through the development of appropriate technologies.

Staff

Research
Head Dr. R P B S H S Senarathne, PhD
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Agronomist Dr. (Ms.) S C Somasiri, PhD
(Massey University, New Zealand)
Agronomist Mr. A A A J Atapattu, MSc.
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Agronomist Mr. S A s T Raveendra, BSc.
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Technical (Research)
Experimental Officer Mr. M J I Costa
Technical Officer Mr. J A A Gunasekara,
Diploma in Agriculture
Non Research
Management Assistant Ms. D T D Dhanapala
Senior Lab and Field Assistant Mr. E M Gunaratne Banda
Senior Lab and Field Assistant Mr. I M Thilakarathne
Lab and Field Assistant Mr. M A N A Kumara
Lab and Field Assistant Mr. K A N P W Senadheera
Lab and Field Attendant Mr. H K Prasanna
Lab and Field Attendant Mr. L B P Niroshan
Lab and Field Attendant Mr. D M S Ramesh
Lab and Field Attendant Mr. S M R C Subhasinghe
Office Attendant Mr. A K D L Jayatissa

Research Highlights

  • Develop Gliricidia sepium as a bio - fuel crop
  • Development of a package of agronomic practices rehabilitate the degraded coconut soils
  • Development of sustainable coconut farming systems through low external inputs with environmental friendly management systems
  • Development of a package of agronomic practices to increase the productivity and profitability of coconut lands

On Going Research

  • Development of an improved package of soil moisture conservation practices for soil classes 3, 4 and 5 to increase yield of coconut
  • Development of a low cost manuring system for coconut utilizing organic/green manure
  • Increase productivity and profitability with maximizing resources available in coconut lands (intercropping)
  • Integration of livestock in coconut farming systems for improvement of land productivity & soil fertility
  • Development of biomass energy production systems under coconut
  • Improvement of productivity of coconut soils through vermiculture technology
  • Development of technologies for rehabilitation of low yielding coconut plantations
  • Development of low cost weed management systems for coconut lands and nurseries
  • Coconut based organic farming systems
  • Poverty reduction in rural communities through coconut based interventions

Awards and Patents

Dr. H.A.J. Gunathilaka awarded National Science and Technology Awards, 2008 of National Science foundation. The theme was "Gliricidia as a fuel crop and substitute for Fodder and Fertilizer", under category of development of eco-materials / eco- friendly processes for industry. The other awardees  were Vidya Jothi Dr. Ray Wijewardana, P.G. Joseph and Parakrame Jayasinghe.

Recent Publications

  1. Somasiri, S.C., Kenyon, P.R., Morel, P.C.H., Kemp, P.D., & Morris, S.T. (2015). The Plantain and Chicory mixes improve lamb live weight gain (LWG) and carcass weights compared to a ryegrass/white clover sward in the late spring and early summer period. Grass and Forage Science. doi. 10.1111/gfs.12173
  2. Somasiri, S.C., Kenyon, P.R., Morel, P.C.H., Kemp, P.D., and Morris, S.T. (2015). Growth performance and carcass characteristics of lambs grazing forage mixes inclusive of plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). Small Ruminant Research. doi.org/10.1016
  3. Somasiri, S.C., Kenyon, P.R., Morel, P.C.H., Kemp, P.D., & Morris, S.T. (2015). Effect of herb-clover mixes of plantain and chicory on lamb production in the early spring period. Animal Production Science. doi.org/10.1071/AN14796.
  4. Senarathne, S.H.S., Sangakkara, U.R. and Raveendra, S.A.S.T. (2015).  Weed Biomass and Seedling Emergence Patterns as Affected by Different Ground Cover Management Systems in Coconut Plantations of Asian Humid Tropics Sri Lanka, International Journal of Research in Agricultural Sciences, 2: 2348 – 3997.
  5. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Ilangamudali, I.M.P.S. (2015).  Utilization of Different Plant Species available in Coconut Plantation to Produce Nutrient Rich Vermicompost, COCOS, 21: 33-42.
  6. S.C. Somasiri, P.R. Kenyon, P.D. Kemp, P.C.H. Morel and S.T. Morris (2015). Is Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.), Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and Clover Mixtures Effective on Weaned Lamb Growth?" Tropical Agricultural Research Journal (in press).
  7. Somasiri, S.C., Kenyon, P.R., Morel, P.C.H., Kemp, P.D., & Morris, S.T. (2015). Herb-clover mixes increase lamb live weight gain (LWG) and carcass weight compared to ryegrass/white clover in the autumn period. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research (In Press).
  8. Sharini Carol Somasiri, P. R. Kenyon, P. D. Kemp, P. C. H. Morel and S.T. Morris (2015). Seasonal influence on botanical composition of plantain, chicory, white-and red-clover based herbage mixes. Sustainable use of grassland resources for forage production, biodiversity and environmental protection: Extended Abstracts 23rd International Grassland Congress, Editors: A K Roy, R V Kumar, R K Agrawal, S K Mahanta, J B Singh, M M Das, K KDwivedi, G. Prabhu, N. K. Shah.
  9. Sharini Carol Somasiri, P. R. Kenyon, P. D. Kemp, P. C. H. Morel and S.T. Morris (2015). Net herbage accumulation rate (NHAR) of plantain and chicory based sward mixes. Sustainable use of grassland resources for forage production, biodiversity and environmental protection: Extended Abstracts 23rd International Grassland Congress, Editors: A K Roy, R V Kumar, R K Agrawal, S K Mahanta, J B Singh, M M Das, K KDwivedi, G. Prabhu, N. K. Shah.

  1. Ilangamudali, I.M.P.S., Senarathne, S.H.S. and Egodawatta, W. C. P. (2014).  Evaluation of Coconut Based Gliricidia sepium Agroforestry Systems to Improve the Soil Properties of Intermediate and Dry Zone Coconut Growing Areas, International Journal of Research in Agricultural Sciences, 1: 34-42.
  2. Senarathne, S.H.S, Atapattu, A.A.A.J, Maheshika, D.D.H and Egodawatta W.C.P. (2014). Short-Term Improved Fallow Using Forest and Multipurpose Tree Species as a Solution for Soil Degradation in Coconut Plantations. Compendium of Abstracts, Abstracts of the 3rd World Congress on Agroforestry: Trees for life: accelerating the impact of agroforestry New Delhi, India. Pp. 309-310
  3. Somasiri, S.C, Kenyon, P.R., Morel, P.C.H., Kemp, P.D., & Morris, S.T. (2014). Alternative method to measure herbage dry matter mass in plantain and chicory mixed swards grazed by lambs. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, 74, Pp 115-120.
  4. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Ilangamudali, I.M.P.S. (2014).  Effect of different agronomic practices on Vernonia zeylanica (L.) plant population changes and seedling emergence pattern in coconut plantations in Sri Lanka, Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung Indonesia, Pp. 346 -352.

  1. Schreurs N.M, Kenyon P.R, Morris S.T, BlairH.T., Somasiri S.C. and Kemp P.D. (2013). BRIEF COMMUNICATION: Effect of different herbage mixes on lamb meat quality. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, 73, 65-67.
  2. Somasiri, S.C. and Premaratne, S. (2013). Coimbatore 3 (CO3 - Pennisetum perpureum x Pennisetum americarnum) grass as an intercrop under coconut (Cocos nucifera). In: Revitalising grasslands to sustain our communities. D.L. Michalk, G.D. Millar, W.B. Badgerty and K.M. Broadfoot (Eds.). Proceedings of 22nd International Grassland Congress, Sydney, Australia, 1, 1000-1002.
  3. Premaratne, S., Somasiri, S.C., Premalal, C., Jayawardena, V.P. and A.R.S. Senavirathne (2013). Feeding patterns and milk production of small-sacle dairy farmers under semi-intensive and extensive cattle management systems in Sri Lanka. In: Revitalising grasslands to sustain our communities. D.L. Michalk, G.D. Millar, W.B. Badgerty and K.M. Broadfoot (Eds.). Proceedings of 22nd International Grassland Congress, Sydney, Australia, 1,469-471.
  4. Somasiri, S.C., Kenyon, P.R., Kemp, P.D., Morel, P.C.H. and Morris, S.T.  (2013). Herb and clover mixes increase average daily gain (ADG) of finishing lambs in different seasons. In: Revitalising grasslands to sustain our communities.  D.L. Michalk, G.D. Millar, W.B. Badgerty and K.M. Broadfoot (Eds.). Proceedings of 22nd International Grassland Congress, Sydney, Australia, 1, 575-576.
  5. Kemp, P.D., Kenyon, P.R., Morris, S.T. and Somasiri, S.C.  (2013). Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) in herb and legume pastures increases lamb growth relative to perennial ryegrass and white clover pasture. In: Revitalising grasslands to sustain our communities. D.L. Michalk, G.D. Millar, W.B. Badgerty and K.M. Broadfoot (Eds.). Proceedings of 22nd International Grassland Congress, Sydney, Australia, 1, 561-562.

  1. Senarathne, S.H.S, D.M.B.M.Bandara and U.R.Sangakkara (2012).  Germination characteristic of rhizomes of major monocotylednous weeds in coconut plantaions of Sri Lanka Korean Journal of Weed Science, 32 (3): Pp 180-187.
  2. Senarathne, S.H.S, J.K.D.S.W.Jayaneththi and K.P.P.Premarathne (2012).  The effect of different concentration of glyphosate on the grwoth of coconut seedlingsKorean Journal of Weed Science, 32 (3): Pp 230-239.
  3. Sinhadipathige, S.C.S, Kenyon, P.R, Kemp, P.D, Morris, S.T, & Morel, P.C.H. (2012). Can herb-clover mixes increase lamb liveweight gains in spring? Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association, 74, Pp 137-142.
  4. Sinhadipathige, S.C.S., Kenyon, P., Kemp, P., Morris, S., & Morel, P. (2012). Effect of herb and clover mixes on lamb average daily gain (ADG) in different seasons. In Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences [IVABS] Postgraduate Colloquium: Programme and Abstracts, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences [IVABS], Massey University (Pp. 5 - 5).
  5. Sinhadipathige, S.C.S., Kenyon, P., Kemp, P., Morris, S., & Morel, P. (2012). Effect of herb and clover mixes on lamb average daily gain (ADG) in different seasons. Presented at Report on the welfare impact of common ectoparasites on cattle in New Zealand [IVABS] Postgraduate Colloquium. Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  1. Pushpakumara, D.K.N.G, Gunasena, H.P.M. and Gunathilake, H.A.J. (2011). Review of coconut based agroforestry systems in Sri Lanka, ”Increasing Coconut Land Productivity Through agroforestry interventions” Proceedings of a symposium held at the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Pp.1-29.
  2. Gunathilake, H.A.J. (2011). Fertilizer Trees for Enhancing Coconut Land Productivity, ” Increasing Coconut Land Productivity Through agroforestry interventions” Proceedings of a symposium held at the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Pp. 29 -44.
  3. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Perera, K.C.P. (2011). Effect of several weed control methods in tropical coconut plantation on weed abundance, coconut yield and economical value, International Research Journal of Plant Science, 2(2): Pp. 25-31.
  4. Senarathne, S.H.S., Fernando, R.D.V. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2011). The allelopathic effects of Lantana camara on seed germination and growth of selected bioassay species, Korean Journal of Weed Science, 31(3): Pp. 271-278.

  1. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2010). Influence of moisture, pH, depth of burial and submerged conditions on seed germination and seedling emergence of major weed species in coconut plantaions of Sri Lanka, Korean Journal of Weed Science, 30 (3): Pp. 206-214.
  2. Senarathne, S.H.S., Dissanayake, D.N.M and Vidhana Arachchi, L.P. (2010). Allelopathic potential of Brachiaria brizantha and Brachiaria milliformis on seed germination of selected bioassy species, Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research, 16 (2): Pp. 207-216.
  3. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Perera, K.C.P. (2010). Impact of Glyphosate on weed biomass and growth of coconut seedlings in nursries, COCOS, 19 (1): Pp. 51-56.


  1. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2009). Effect of different weed management systems on the weed populations, and seed bank composition and distribution in tropical coconut plantations, Weed Biology and Management , 9: Pp. 209-216.
  2. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2009). Comparison of different types of herbicides on the succession of weed population and seed bank composition in tropical coconut plantations, The Planter, 85 9994): Pp. 13-22.
  3. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Perera, K.C.P. (2009). Use of different herbicides on weed management in coconut nurseries in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka, Korean Journal of Weed Science, 29(2): Pp. 131-139.
  4. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Costa, M.J.I. (2009). Comparison of several recommended cultural practices for weed management and their effects on yield of coconut in tropical coconut plantations, Proceedings of the 8th EWRS Workshop on Physical and Cultural Weed Control, Zaragoza, Spain, Pp. 17-23.
  1. Gunathilake, H.A.J. and Joseph, P.G. (2008). Sustainable Development and Application of Bio-energy in Coconut Plantations, Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Plantation Crop Research, Export Competitiveness through Quality Improvements, N.P.A.D. Nainayake and J.M.D.T.Ewerad (Eds.), Coconut Research Instute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka, Pp. 176-184.
  2. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2008). Influence of selected environmental factors on seed germination and emergence of major weed species in coconut plantations in Sri Lanka, Proceedings of the 5th International Weed Science Congress, Vancouver, Canada, Proceeding, Pp. 245-251.
  1. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2007). Influence of Selected Environmental Factors on Germination and Emergence of Hyptis suaveolens of Coconut Plantations in Sri Lanka, Published in 21st Asian Pacific Weed Science Society (APWSS) Conference, Colombo (2007), Sri Lanka, Proceeding, Pp. 625-630.
  1. Senarathne, S.H.S. and Sangakkara, U.R. (2006). Influence of environmental factors on seed germination and emergence of Chromoleana odorata in coconut plantations in Sri Lanka, 7th International Workshop on Biological Control and Management of Chromoleana odorata and Micarnia micrantha Conference Proceedings, Taiwan, Pp. 7-14.
  1. Senarathna, S. H. S. and Perera, K. C. P. (2005). Effect of different concentrations of Glyphosate in control of weeds in coconut nurseries and growth of coconut seedlings in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, The Planter, 81 (953): Pp. 515-519.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 September 2016 06:52  

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