Entomology and Nematology

Last updated on August 11th, 2020 at 04:46 pm

The Division engages in research on development of integrated pest management strategies to maintain the pest population densities below the Economical injury level in order to ensure safe living and sustainability of the tea eco system.

In addition, analytical services for the diagnosis of pest and nematode infestations are also rendered through laboratories at Talawakelle, Ratnapura and Hantana for stake holders.

Key Research Areas

  • Development of biological, cultural, chemical and non-chemical methods in the management of insect, nematode and mite pests of tea and associated crops
  • Development of bio-pesticides to control tea pests
  • Experimentation to study residue levels of new insecticides to determine PHI for recommendation
  • Development of sustainability indices on pest densities, soil microbial activity, earthworm, nematode, butterfly, frog, dragonfly and bird populations as indicators of different cultivation techniques and climate change
  • Scientific validation of best practices of traditional and local practices
  • Development of methods to eliminate and control insect contaminations in made tea and value-added tea
  • Development of trapping device using Kairomone for mass trapping of Shot hole borer
  • Research on climate change and pest incidences

Major Achievements

  • Incorporation of non-chemical methods in IPM packages
  • Successful implementation of classical biological control for Tea Tortrix management
  • Introduction of locally available bio-control agents to manage mites and Nematodes
  • Introduction of alternatives for POP chemicals in tea cultivation
  • Phasing out of Methyl Bromide with appropriate chemical and non-chemical substitutes and declaration of Sri Lankan tea as ozone friendly
  • Recommendations for the adherence of REIs (Restricted Entry Intervals) for commonly used pesticides
  • Recommendations of new insecticides for seasonal pests with PHI
  • Nursery hygiene with sedimentation tanks and water treatments to ensure soil-borne pathogen free planting material
  • Data generation and maintenance of the world’s first organic and biodynamic tea experimental trial plots
  • Establishment of Central Biological Control Laboratory
  • Guidance for pioneering organic and biodynamic tea production and exports in the world
  • Establishment of indicators of health of workers long exposed to agro-chemicals
  • Proof of root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus loosi as a biological indicator of climate change in tea
  • Recommendations on new prophylactic treatments for nematode management
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