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Tea Research outshines at the Sixth Symposium on Plantation Crop Research

(Created date: 07-Nov-2016)

Tea Research outshines at the Sixth Symposium on Plantation Crop Research

From left: Dr. L S K Hettiarachchi, Additional Director, Dr. I S B Abeysinghe, Director,

Mr. M A Chamindra, Research Officer, Mr. M Niranjan, Research Officer &

Dr.Keerthi Mohotti, Deputy Director-Research (Production)

The sixth Symposium on Plantation Crop Research was successfully held at the BMICH during November 3-4, 2016. The theme of the symposium was “Plantation Agriculture towards National Prosperity”. The sixth symposium was ceremonially inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Hon. Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries, Mr. Wasantha Luxman Perera, on November 2, 2016 at Waters Edge hotel, Battaramulla with the participation of Mr.Upali Marasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation Industries and Dr.Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies who delivered the Key Note Speech. Scientists who have excelled in their research activities were honoured during this inaugural session. Dr.Ganga Sinniah, Senior Research Officer of the Tea Research Institute (TRI) received an award for her contribution to tea research during the last two years.

The sixth symposium was organized by the Coconut Research Institute in collaboration with the Tea, Rubber and Sugarcane Research Institutes of Sri Lanka. The salient highlights and outcomes of the research programmes conducted by the four plantation crop research institutes were showcased in a video presentation during the colourful inaugural session which was highly valued by the stakeholders.

The scientists and extensionists of the four crop research institutes presented their findings in 6 Technical sessions during the two days viz. Crop Improvement, chaired by S J B A Jayasekara; Crop Agronomic Practices and Crop Production chaired by U P De S Waidyanatha; Nutrient and water management chaired by Prof. R B Mapa; Product, Process and Machinery Development chaired by Dr. D B T Wijeratne; Plant Protection chaired by Dr. R Mahindapala and Socio-Economics and Extension chaired by Dr. F Abeyratne. The total number of technical papers presented at the symposium was 35 out of which, 15 were from the Tea Research Institute. The technical presentations in each session were followed by a panel discussion/open forum. All the technical presentations were evaluated by an expert panel comprised of eminent scientists.

Two Guest speeches made during the Technical sessions added value to the sixth symposium. They were on “Present status of the Regional Plantation Sector and its future challenges” by Mr. Roshan Rajadurai, the former Chairman, Planters’ Association and the CEO of KelaniValley and Talawakelle PLCs and “Diversification of Plantation Sector and related industries through Nano Technological approaches” by Prof. V Karunaratne, Associate Director, Science and Strategic Relations, SLINTEC and Senior Prof. Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya.

The paper on “Development of self-cleaning mechanism for grading orthodox leafy teas in a reciprocating type shifter” authored by GLC Galahitiyawa, MA Chamindra and KBM Sripalika and presented by Mr MA Chamindra, Research Officer, Technology Division, TRI was adjudged as the overall best research paper of the symposium. In addition, Mr. M.Niranjan, Research Officer, Pathology Division also received an award for presenting the best research paper representing the TRI.

Two Volumes of the Proceedings of symposium published by the Coconut Research Institute comprise all the technical papers presented. The sixth symposium was well attended by the stakeholders and policy makers of the plantation sector and the next symposium will be organized by the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka in 2018.

Research papers presented by the TRI Scientists




Technical Session 1: Crop Improvement


Assessment on flowering and fruiting phenology of tea seed gardens in Sri Lanka: Towards the enhancement of productivity

JHN Piyasundera, MTK Gunasekare,

IP Wikremasinghe, MA Wijeratne,

MAB Ranathunga & AK Mudalige

Technical Session 2: Crop Agronomic Practices and Crop Production


Physiological aspects governing yield variation under manual and mechanical harvesting of clonal tea

SRW Pathiranage, MA Wijeratne &

WAJM De Costa


Investigation on soil rehabilitation of old tea lands with two alternative grass species in the low country wet zone

MGS Liyanage, KG Premathilake &

EWTP Premathunga

Technical Session 3: Nutrient and Water Management


Potentials of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria based microbial inoculants for tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze)

PLK Tennakoon, RMCP Rajapaksha &

LSK Hettiarachchi


Evaluating the suitability of foliar application of micronutrient combinations for mature tea (Camellia sinensis (L) Kuntze) in Uva region of Sri Lanka

Mr S. Raguraj, RS Dharmakeerthi,

OGKA Gunaratne & WMS Wijayathunga

Technical Session 4: Product, Process and Machinery Development


Determination of quality characteristics in different green tea products available in Sri Lankan super markets

SADPS Jayawardhana, KPC Madushanka, KM Mewan, SK Jayasinghe,

DGNP Karunajeewa & ENU Edirisinghe


Applying membrane filtration technique in manufacturing cold water soluble instant tea

GAAR Perera, AMT Amarakoon,

DCK Illeperuma, & ENU Edirisinghe


Study on use of cast Copper Alloy components for Rotorvanes & Rollers

S Koneswaramoorthy & K Raveendran


Development of Self –Cleaning mechanism for grading Orthodox leafy teas in a reciprocating type shifter

GLC Galahitiyawa,MA Chamindra &

KBM Sripalika


Development of a method for the detection of sugar adulteration in black tea

SADPS Jayawardena, NAJC Gunarathna, PLN Lakshman, BM Jinendra, KM Mewan, NC Weerakoon & MSC Fernando

Technical Session 5: Plant Protection


Development of species specific ITS markers for the detection of Botryosphaeria dothedia and Lassiodiplodia theobromae of tea

NHL Pradeepa, OVDSJ Weerasena,

CJ Liyanaarachchi, DGNP Karunajeewa,

KGJP Mahindapala, TGN Mahinda,

SP Rathnayake, KM Mewan,

RLC Wijesundera & ISB Abeysinghe


Investigation on die back of Grevillea robusta in tea plantations of the Uva region in Sri Lanka

M Niranjan & G Sinniah

Technical Session 6: Socio Economics and Extension


Current status and returns to investments on soil fertility management strategies in corporate sector tea plantations in Sri Lanka.

HW Shyamalie, BMNC Karunarathna

HMCG Pilapitiya, NNK Wellala &

ASS Peiris


Potential use of mobile phones for technologydissemination (m-Extension) in Tea Smallholdings sector of Sri Lanka

BAD Samansiri, WADP Wanigasundera &

R Wijekoon


Estimating effects of research and extension expenditures on tea production in Sri Lanka

HW Shyamalie, BMNC Karunaratne

HMCJ Pilapitiya, & NNK Wellala

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