Soils and Plant Nutrition Division

Nutrient balancing in coconut palms to increase productivity of coconut plantations through improving soil health.

Mission

Develop cost effective technology for the maintenance of nutrient status of coconut palms and other associated crops by the application of inorganic and organic fertilizer. Conservation of productive soil and improvement of sub optimal soils for coconut production and management of soil moisture for sustainable productivity of coconut plantation in diverse soils and agro ecological conditions. Identify the suitable non-traditional lands for coconut cultivation through land suitability tests.

Research Division

Agronomy Division

Crop Protection Division

Economics & Agribusiness

Genetics & Plant Breeding Division

Plant Physiology Division

Coconut Processing Research Division

Soils and Plant Nutrition Division

Tissue Culture Division

Technology Transfer Division

Current Research

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Assessment of the effectiveness of Biochar as a soil conditioner on managing sustainable fertility of Coconut lands, with special emphasis on effective microorganisms
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Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Compost to use as an Organic Manure source in Coconut Plantations
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Assessment of the effectiveness of boron fertilizer on nut setting and leaf Boron status
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Evaluation of the effect of fertigation on the yield of coconut
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Assess the suitability in recommending liquid fertilizer and other N sources for coconut
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Introduction of nitrogen enriched compost for coconut plantations.
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Prepare and assess K rich compost produced from removing components in coconut plantations
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Assessment of effectiveness of biofertlizer for coconut

Major Achievements

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Tennakoon N. A., Nadheesha M.K.F., and Nainanayaka N. P. A. D. 2010. Received best paper presentation award for coconut sector paper presented on Nutrient Status and Depletion in Long-Term Coconut Growing Soils; at the 3rd Symposium on plantation crop Research – Stake Holder Empowerment through Technological Advances in Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo Sri Lanka on 30 September – 01 October
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Ms D.M.P.D. Dissanayake received the best oral presentation award (3rd prize) for the outstanding presentation on “Effect of carbon dioxide and potassium hydroxide modification on CO2 adsorption capacity of biochar” presented at 4th Asia Pacific Biochar Conference (APBC 2018), Foshan, China.
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Ms D.M.P.D. Dissanayake received the best poster presentation award for the poster on “Biochar based adsorbents for capturing carbon dioxide: A critical review” in the 3rd International Conference on Biological Waste as Resource (BWR 2018). Tai Po, Hong Kong
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Ms. G.S. Nirukshan received Dr. A.W.R. Joachim Memorial Prize Awarad by the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya for obtaining the highest G.P.A. during the academic year of the Master’s degree program.
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Ms. G.S. Nirukshan received a scholarship award by the Special Research Fund of University of Ghent, Belgium (BOF) Doctoral grants given for 15 candidates from developing countries for the year 2017 (North-south sandwich type grants).
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Ms. G.S. Nirukshan received a scholarship award by the Special Research Fund of University of Ghent, Belgium (BOF) Doctoral grants given for 15 candidates from developing countries for the year 2017 (North-south sandwich type grants).
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Dr. H.M.I.K. Herath received the president’s award for scientific publications of the year 2014 at the ceremony held on 22nd November 2016
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Dr. H.M.I.K. Herath received merit award for best presentation in the session on Agricultural Sciences for the paper on “Effect of Coconut-Based Agroforestry systems on soil physical and chemical properties in intermediate zone of Sri Lanka’ at the 5th Young Scientists Forum Symposium held in 22nd January 2016.
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Ms. G.S. Nirukshan received merit award for best presentation in the session on Agricultural Sciences for the paper on” Comparison on plant and soil nutritional status between organically and conventionally cultivated two coconut lands in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka” at the 5th Young Scientist Forum Symposium held in 22nd January 2016.
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Dr. H.M.I.K. Herath received a Merit Award for scientific publication from the National Research Council (presented in 2015).

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Nadheesha, M.K.F., Mohotti, A.J. and Priyantha, N., 2021. Obtained best paper award for “Cadmium uptake by Coconut Palm and its sorption on soil in ionic medium” at the second International Plantation conference held in Malaysia on March 09th and 10th via online.
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Nadheesha, M.K.F., Mohotti, A.J. and Priyantha, N., 2021. Obtained best paper award for “Cadmium uptake by Coconut Palm and its sorption on soil in ionic medium” at the second International Plantation conference held in Malaysia on March 09th and 10th via online.
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Ms B.H.R. Fernando .2021.obtained he Best Research Award in Agriculture track at 5th International Research Conference of Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka held on 1-2 July

Staff

Research

Ms. M K F Nadheesha

Senior Research Officer/OIC

Ms. D M P D Dissanayake

Research Officer

Ms.P G.S. Nirukshan

Research Officer

Ms. B.H.R Fernando

Research Officer

Technical (Research)

Mr. K P A Pathirana

Experimental Officer

Mr. K P I E Ambagala

Experimental Officer

Mr. W.M Nuwan

Technical Officer

Ms. H L A Padmini

Technical Officer

Mr. B S V J Perera

Experimental Officer

Miss. K.D.C Premarathna

Technical Officer

Ms. R.K.K.H.J. Jayasinghe

Technical Officer

Mr. K.M.P.C Warnasooriya

Technical Officer

Mr. D.C.D. Perera

Technical Officer

Non Research

Miss T.M.D Abeyrathna

Management Assistant

Mr. M.D.P Manathunga

Lab and Field Assistant

Mr. E A Chandradasa

Lab and Field Attendant

Mr. R.M.N Sandasiri

Lab and Field Attendant

Mr. W R P Tissera

Lab and Field Assistant

Mr. L M G D Liyanage

Lab and Field Attendant

Mr. M.A.G Pathiraja

Lab and Field Attendant

Mr. T.A.S.R.P. Thenuwara

Lab and Field Assistant

Recent Publications

2014
1. Herath, I., Green, S., Horne, D., Singh, R. and Clothier, B. 2014. Quantifying and reducing the water footprint of rain-fed potato production Part I: Measuring the net use of blue and green water. Journal of Cleaner Production, DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.06.026

2. Herath, I., Green, S., Horne, D., Singh, R. and Clothier, B. 2014. Quantifying and reducing the water footprint of rain-fed potato production Part II: A hydrological assessment using modelling supported by measurements. Journal of Cleaner Production, DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.06.025

3. Herath, I. 2014. The Water Footprint of Coconut production: A Preliminary Assessment. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on Plantation Crop Research 15-17 October, BMICH, Colombo.

4. Herath, I., Green, S., Horne, D., Singh, R. and Clothier, B. 2014. Using water footprinting to reduce the impact of the use of agricultural water and agrichemicals on water resources. Proceedings of 20th World Congress of Soil Science, 9-13 June 2014, Jeju, South Korea.

5. Herath, I., Green, S., Horne, D., Singh, R. and Clothier, B. 2014. Variability in water footprints: A case study of New Zealand wines. Proceedings of 20th World Congress of Soil Science, 9-13 June 2014, Jeju, South Korea.

6. Herath, I., Green, S and Clothier, B. 2014. Grey water foot-printing to reduce the impacts of agriculture on water resources: A case study from New Zealand potato production. Proceedings of the Third Young Scientists Forum Symposium. ISBN 978-955-8630-06-8. PP 65-67.

7. Clothier, B., Green,S., Herath, I., Périé E,. van den Dijssel C., Deurer, M. Mason, K., Dryden, G and Butcher, M. 2014. Minimizing the Water Footprints of Fruit for Multiple Benefits. Acta Horticulturae. Vol.1038. pp 27-34. ISSN 05677572

8. Ganga, D. D. E. H., Herath, I. Scynthya, P. G., Fernandupulle, M. N. D. 2014. Effect of long-term phosphorus fertilizer application on phosphorus solubilizing bacteria in coconut growing soils. Proceedings of the 13th Agricultural Research Symposium. Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. ISBN 978-955-4709-17–1.

9. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I., Vidhanaarachchi, V. R. M., Gunathilaka, T. R. and Tennakoon, N. A. (2014). Effect of Copper and Zinc on Embryo Germination and Seedling Growth of Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Proceedings of the 5th Symposium on Plantation Crop Research, 71 – 76.

10. Weerasinghe, W.D.M.D., Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. and Fernandopulle, M. N. D. (2014). Dissolution of Eppawela Rock Phosphate in Dry Zone Coconut Growing Soils. Proceedings of the 13th Agricultural Research Symposium, 12th – 13th August, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, pp 457 – 479.

2013
1. Herath, H.M.I.K. 2013. Is the grey-water footprint helpful for understanding the impact of primary production on water quality? Paper presented at the conference on Accurate and efficient use of nutrients on farms organised by Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 12th February 2013.

2. Herath, H.M.I.K. 2013. “Water Foot printing: An Indication of Impacts of Agriculture on Water Resources”. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Agriculture and Environment (ISAE) Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna on 28th November 2013.

3. Herath, H.M.I.K. 2013. “Use of water foot printing to quantify and reduce the impact of nutrient leaching on water resource”. Paper presented at the Soil and Fertilizer Day organized by the Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka, University of Peradeniya on 6th December 2013.

4. Tennakoon, N.A. 2013. A series of paper articles on Inorganic and organic fertilizer for coconut. “Kapruka” supplementary of Daily News on 8th March, 12th April and 14th June 2013.

5. Tennakoon, N.A. and Ranasinghe, C.S. 2013. Coconut leaf burn yellowing temporary. “Kapruka” supplementary of Daily News on 12th April 2013.

6. Tennakoon, N.A. 2013. Incentives for coconut cultivators using organic fertilizer. “Kapruka” supplementary of Daily News on 14th June 2013.

7. Wijebandara, D. M. D. I. and Kurudukubura, C.P.A. (2013). Evaluation of Phosphorus availability in a lateritic gravelly coconut grown and long term phosphate fertilizer applied soil in Sri Lanka with an indicator plant. COCOS 20: 1. 59 – 70.

8. Wijebandara, D. M. D. I. participated an agricultural radio programme on “Coconut soil nutrients and soil conservation” produced by Television and Farm Broadcasting Service, Department of Agriculture on 17th May 2013.

9. Kulasinghe, K. P. N., Wijebandara, D. M. D. I., Nugawela, A. and Fernandopulle, M.N.D. (2013). Performance of Eppawela Rock Phosphate with organic manure as a phosphate source for adult coconut palms in Dry Zone. Proceedings of 12th Agricultural Research Symposium, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.

10. Wijebandara, D. M. D. I. (2013). Phosphorus Adsorption Maximum as Measured by the Langmuir Equation and its Relationship to Soil Properties in Coconut Growing Soils of Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of East Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies (ESAFS 11) 25-30.

2012
1. Herath, I., Clothier, B., Green, S., Horne, D. and Singh, R. 2012. Methodological challenges in agricultural product water footprinting: A case study of New Zealand wine. Proceedings of the Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science conference, Hobart, 2 – 7 December 2012.

2. Herath, I., Clothier, B., Green, S., Deurer, M., Horne, D., Singh, R. and van der Zijpp, S. 2012. Variability in agricultural product water footprints: A case study of New Zealand wine. Proceedings of the 2nd New Zealand Life Cycle Assessment Centre Conference 28th–29th Mar 2012. Auckland, New Zealand.

3. Herath, I., Clothier, B., Green, S., Horne, D., Singh, R., Marsh, A., Buchanan, A. and Burgess, R. 2012. Measuring the Grey Water Footprint of Potatoes. In: Advanced Nutrient Management Gains from the Past – Goals for the Future. (Eds L.D. Currie and C.L. Christensen). Occasional Report No. 25. Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

4. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. and Zanofar, A.A. 2012. Distribution of Zn fractions with relation to soil properties in coconut lands. Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Plantation Crop Research at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka on 20th – 21st September 2012. (PP 217 – 225)

5. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. and Tennakoon, N.A. 2012. Integrated nutrient management in Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease, Chapter 3, Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila.

6. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. 2012. Micronutrients for coconut. Coconut Technology Update, publication of Coconut Research Institute, Issue 1, April 2012.

7. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. 2012. Can you apply urea based NPK fertilizer with dolomite to coconut? Coconut Technology Update, Publication of Coconut Research Institute, Issue 1, April 2012.

8. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. 2012. Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease (WCLWD); Is it due to nutrient deficiency? Coconut Technology Update, Publication of Coconut Research Institute, Issue 2, August 2012.

2011
1. Asara, A.F., Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. and Gunathilake, H.A.W.S. 2011. Phosphorus fixation capacities of some coconut growing soils of Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the 11th Agricultural Research Symposium was held at Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila on20 -21 September. pp 20 – 21. 2011.

2. Cooray, N.C.S., Nadheesha, M.K.F., Weerakkody, W.J.S.K., and Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Net nitrogen mineralization in coconut soil after amelioration by adding organic manure in Boralu and Sudu series. In proceedings of 11th Agriculture Research Symposium held in Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura on 20-21 September. pp 347-351.

3. Ekanayaka, E.M.R.A., Nadheesha, M.K.F., and Weerakkody, W.J.S.K. Potential buffering capacities of some coconut (Cocos nucifera) growing soils in relation to potassium in Sri Lanka. In proceedings of 11th Agriculture Research Symposium held in Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura on 20-21 September. pp 347-351.

4. Jayasekara, D.R.L.W., Nadheesha, M.K.F., Gunerathna M.H.J.P., and Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Irrigation and Fertilizer on nutrition and on yield of coconut palms. Proceedings of Undergraduate Research Symposium held in Rajarata University on 16th September P 57.

5. Herath, I., Deurer, M., Horne, D., Singh, R., and Clothier, B., 2011. The water footprint of hydroelectricity: A methodological comparison from a case study in New Zealand. Journal of Cleaner Production 19: 1582-1589.

6. Herath, I., Deurer, M., Horne, D., Singh, R. and Clothier, B. 2011.The water footprint of hydropower: a vital input for the water footprinting of New Zealand’s agricultural products. Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Doctoral Students’ Symposium. December 5, 2011. Massey University Palmerston North, New Zealand.

7. Herath,I., Deurer, M. Clothier, B., Horne, D. and Singh, R. 2011. Water footprints of agricultural products: indicators of water sustainability. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies. October 10-13, 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

8. Nadheesha, M.K.F. and Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Foliar Nutrient status of coconut growing areas in Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the 10th International conference of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies – Soil, a precious natural resource: agricultural ecosystems, Environmental Health and Climatic Change (Eds. Dharmakeerthi, R.S., Vitharana, U.W.A., Mapa, R.B., Jayakody, A.N., Nayakakorala, H.B. and Weerakoon, W.M.W.) Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka held in Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo Sri Lanka on 10th – 13th October, pp 105-106.

9. Sooriyaarachchi, N.D., Nadheesha, M.K.F., Rajakaruna, R.M.P., and Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Effectiveness of Ipil Ipil (Leucaena lucocephala) and Acacia (Acacia leprosa) on Rehabilitation of degraded coconut growing soils. Proceedings of Undergraduate Research Symposium held in Rajarata University on 16th September P 49.

10. Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Land Use Patterns in Coconut Sector. Journal of the National Institute of Plantation Management, Athurugiriya, Sri Lanka. Vol 23 (1), pp 15 – 16.

11. Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Soil Fertility and Water Management through Coconut Based Agro Forestry. Proceeding of a Symposium on Increasing Coconut Land Productivity Through Agro Forestry Interventions. Pushpakumara, D.K.N.G., Gunasena, H.P.M. Gunathilaka, H.A.J. and Singh, V.P. (eds), Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka. pp 45 – 46.

12. Tennakoon, N.A. 2011. Potassium Status and Requirement of Coconut Soils in Sri Lanka. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Role of Potassium in Sustaining the Yield & Its Quality held in Hotel Topaz, Kandy, Sri Lanka on 27 – 28 October 2011.

13. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. and Kurundukumbura, C.P.A. 2011. Residual phosphorus availability of coconut growing soil after long term application of different phosphate sources. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of East & Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies. pp 269-270.

14. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I., Dasog, G.S. and Patil, P.L. 2011. Effect of submergence on transformation of Zinc fractions in paddy growing soil. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of East & Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies. pp 207-208.

15. Wijebandara, D.M.D.I., Dasog, G.S., Patil, P.L. and Manjunath Hebbar, 2011. Zinc Fractions and their Relationships with Soil Properties in Paddy growing Soils of Northern Dry and Hill Zones of Karnataka. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp 141-147.

16. Wijebandara, D.M. D. I., Dasog, G.S., Patil, P.L. and Manjunath Hebbar, 2011. Zinc Effect of Nutrient Levels on Rice (Oryza sativa L.) under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Traditional Methods of Cultivation. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp 67-73.

17. Zanofar, A.A., Wijebandara, D.M.D.I. and Fernandopulle, M. 2011. Effect of Soil Properties on Distribution of Different Forms of Zinc in Some Coconut Growing Soils in Low Country Intermediate Zone of Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the 11th Agricultural Research Symposium was held at Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila on 20 -21 September. pp 323 -327.

2010
1. Wijebandara, D.M.D.S. (2010). Phosphorus status of major coconut growing soils of Sri Lanka on the performance of Puereria phaseoloides, COCOS, 19: Pp. 27-40.
2009
1. Tennakoon, N.A. (2009). Land use patterns in coconut sector, Journal of the National Institute of Plantation Management, National Institute of Plantation Management, Aturugiriya, Sri Lanka, 23 (1): Pp. 15-16.
2008
1. Herath, H.M.I.K., Ranasinghe, K.L. and Tennakoon, N.A. (2008). Use of soil and foliar nutrient levels to identify the nutritional limitations of two coconut growing soils in Sri Lanka, In: proceedings of the 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research – Export Competitiveness Through Quality Improvements, Nainanayake, N.P.A.D. and Everard, J.M.D.T (Eds.), Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka held in BMICH, Colombo on 16 – 17 October, Pp. 350 – 356.

2. Liyanage, L.R.M.C., Purusothaman, Y., Panditharatne, D.P. and Tennakoon, N.A. (2008). Evaluation of Girdle Sprinkler Irrigation System for coconut in Intermediate and Dry zone of Sri Lanka, In: proceedings of the 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research – Export Competitiveness Through Quality Improvements, Nainanayake, N.P.A.D. and Everard, J.M.D.T (Eds.), Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka held in BMICH, Colombo on 16 – 17 October, Pp. 357 – 367.

3. Nadheesha, M.K.F. and Tennakoon, N.A. (2008). Removal of micronutrients from high and moderative yielding coconut plantation in Sri Lanka, In: proceedings of the 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research – Export Competitiveness Through Quality Improvements, Nainanayake, N.P.A.D. and Everard, J.M.D.T (Eds.), Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka held in BMICH, Colombo on 16 – 17 October. Pp. 164 – 169.

2007

1. Herath, H.M.I.K., Saumyakumara, A.P.A., Tennakoon, N.A. (2007). Soil fertility status of common coconut growing soil series in Sri Lanka, Journal of the Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka, Volume 18.

2. Jayakody, J.A.D.S.S., Tennakoon, N.A. and Fernandopulle, M.N.D. (2007). Assessment of the available phosphorus in two soil series under different fertilizer used for coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in Gampaha District, COCOS, Vol 18., Pp. 24-34.

3. Tennakoon, N.A. (2007). Microbiological methods of Biomass C, Biomas N, Microbial Activity and Net N mineralization, In: biological properties of manual of soil sampling and analysis, R.S. Dharmakeerthi, S.P. Indraratne and D. Kumaragamage (Eds.), Special Publication No. 10 Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Pp. 115 – 125.

2005

1. Tennakoon, N.A., Fernando, K.S.K.S. and Widanapathirana, S. (2005). Microbiological properties of root zone of coconut grown in different soil series in Sri Lanka, CORD, 21 (1): Pp. 1-12.

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