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About Us

History of Coconut Research Institute

The Coconut Research Institute (CRI) is a National Institute founded in 1929 as the Coconut Research Scheme under the Coconut Research Ordinance No. 29 of 1928. The scheme established its headquarters at Bandirippuwa Estate, Lunuwila (North Western Province) and began its research activities with three Technical Divisions namely, Genetics, Chemistry and Soil Chemistry for assisting coconut growers with technical information on coconut cultivation. Following the enactment of the coconut Research Act No. 37 in 1950, it was renamed as the CRI of Ceylon. Since its establishment all scientific research on coconut in Sri Lanka were centered in it and gained national as well as international reputation for coconut research. Under the Coconut Development Act No. 46 promulgated in 1971, the Coconut Research Board was set up in 1972 to function as the Board of Management of the CRI. The CRI is a semi-autonomous research institution coming under the purview of Ministry of Plantation Industries.

Message from the Chairman


As the world’s leading institute dedicated to research on coconut, the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka is taking steps to achieve the sustainability in coconut sector of the country via generating and disseminating industry – driven technology. Our strategic priorities address the challenges arising from the areas of climate change, soil, crop and pest management practices, resource scarcity, expanding the versatility of the industry and strengthening the science-policy interface. With all these research and developmental goals, our mission is to make coconut the highest export earning crop in Sri Lanka by end the end of 2025 with a 1.5-billion-dollar annual target under the guidance of his Excellency the President Ranil Wickramasinghe and the leadership of Hon. Agriculture & Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Hon. Plantation Industries and Mahaweli Development State Minister Lohan Ratwatte. In fulfilling the mission in economically savvy and environmentally conscious manner, our first short term strategy explores the avenues of doubling the volume of the industry by saving extra 1000 million coconuts. I strongly believe that this significant contribution can be achieved through minimizing the household wastage and reducing the crop losses from pests and disease outbreaks in short term. Proper use of recommended agronomic practices including timely application of fertilizer and soil moisture conservation methods will also help bridging the gap between the current and the potential industry targets, hence, a systematic approach will be used for the advancement of coconut industry with novel technology dissemination methods.
I’m honored to serve as the chairman of the Coconut Research Board of Sri Lanka with a dynamic and capable team to ceaselessly think and act in a manner to promote sustainable coconut industry in Sri Lanka.

Message from the Director

Coconut, as a main component of the daily diet of Sri Lankans and as one of the major export crops grown in all districts except the higher elevations, supports the livelihood of about 1,192,000 people in Sri Lanka. It covers an extent of 440,640 ha whilst the major coconut growing areas are Kurunegala and Puttalam districts in the North-Western Province (NWP) and Gampaha district in the Western Province constituting the Coconut Triangle, totaling 224,467 ha (50.9 %) of the total coconut growing area.

CRI is the focal point of development and dissemination of technologies on coconut cultivation and processing. Whilst there is an increasing global demand for coconut products creating new market opportunities, the industry has several unique challenges such as Impacts of climate change, low soil fertility, low productivity of plantations, high incidence of pest and diseases, fluctuating yields and farm gate prices, high cost of production, fragmentation of productive coconut lands, insufficient raw materials for the industry sector and scarcity of skilled labour. Despite these challenges, CRI has delivered many expert solutions to improve the production, protection and value addition aspects in coconut over last 92 years.

For the next five years CRI has developed a road map to address above issues in a very comprehensive Research programme which focuses on coconut breeding, tissue culture, climate change and adaptations, good agronomic practices, yield forecast and estimation, pest and disease management, value addition, health benefits of coconut, value chain analysis and policy recommendations and development programme which focuses mainly on maintenance of seed gardens for production of high quality planting material, land suitability assessments for coconut in non-traditional areas and technology dissemination to stakeholders. The Institute eight research divisions with well-equipped laboratories, a technology transfer division, four Genetic Resources Centers (Seed Gardens), seven Research Stations and service providing divisions functioning as one organization to accomplish the Research and Development needs of the coconut sector. In addition, CRI provides several services to stakeholders, works very closely and collaboratively with many universities nationally and internationally, other government organizations and coconut sector entrepreneurs to develop and disseminate technologies. The CRI has streamlined its R & D programmes to align with national priorities and aims to serve the stakeholders in a better manner in the coming years.

The Institute’s main strength is the innovative, academically sound, well-experienced and dedicated staff. Because of this knowledge pool, CRI is recognized as an International Training Institute for coconut development officers by the International Coconut Community (ICC).

The web site illustrates our contribution for the coconut sector in many ways and I hope this website will serve the purpose and every one will enjoy reading it. Finally, we look forward to receive the feedbacks for continuous improvement of the web site along the way.

Organization Structure


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