Volume - 1 Issue - 2

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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Potential penetration of exotic aquatic plants into natural environment through ornamental plant industry in Sri Lanka
    (2018) Nissankaa, W.A.P.D.T.B.; Nimanthikab,W.J.; Senevirathna, A.M.W.K.; Kaliyadasa,P.E.
    Aquatic plant industry has shown a rapid growth during past few decades in its export capacity and thus there are number of registered exporting companies directly involved in this business. This study was conducted to evaluate the invasion risk of exotic aquatic plant species to the natural environment through ornamental aquatic plant industry. Information of major aquatic plant nurseries in Sri Lanka were obtained from the National Plant Quarantine Service of Sri Lanka (NPQS). A field survey was performed in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats within 1 km radius from four major nurseries selected in order to understand whether any species has escaped from the nurseries. photographs and the GPS data of the escaped species were taken. Echinodorus argentinensis, Mayaca sellowiana, Ceratophyllum demersum, Hydrilla verticillata, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Micranthemum umbrosum, Echinodorus grandiflorus, Echinodorus decumbens and Alternanthera sessilis were detected in natural habitats around some nurseries giving evidence for invasion risk from the nurseries. This finding indicates the necessity of implementing policy decisions and amending regulation on importation and cultivation of aquatic plant species in Sri Lanka.
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    Evaluation of new rice lines derived through induced mutation of traditional variety: Suduru samba
    (2018) Wijesenaa, K.A.K.; Hemachandraa, P.V.; Nawarathnea, N.M.A.
    Suduru samba is a traditional rice variety popular among most of the rice consumers in Sri Lanka. This cultivar produces white color, short round (samba) grain with higher rice grain cooking quality, good taste and aroma. However, susceptibility to lodging, neck blast and photosensitivity are major disadvantages of this variety. With the objective of developing shorter plants with desirable characters, seeds of Suduru samba were mutated using gamma irradiation. After the phenotypic selection and advancement of selfing generations two mutants SSR 26 and SSR 8 were evaluated on yield trials with standard checks Bg 357, Bg 360 and parent Suduru samba. The grain yield was recorded as 2.27, 2.90, and 1.01 t ha–1 for SSR 26, SSR 8 and Suduru samba, respectively. Further SSR 8 and SSR 26 having intermediate plant height and strong culm, showed resistance to lodging compared to the parent variety, Suduru samba,
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    Evaluation of test cross combinations of rice hybrids to identify the potential restorers and maintainers
    (2018) Priyantha, W.S.; Hemachandra, R.P.D.H.; Witharana, D.D.; Dasanayaka, D.M.N.D.
    Hybrid rice technology is one of the good options to enhance the productivity of rice. However, identification of locally adaptable maintainers and restorers is important to develop well adoptive hybrid rice varieties. Therefore, an experiment was conducted with the objective to identify the restorers and potential maintainers to develop (CMS) lines in order to use them as parents for future hybrid rice programme. The experiment was conducted at the Rice Research and Development Institute, Batalagoda, Sri Lanka in Maha 2016/17 and Yala 2017 season.147 crosses were produced by using 29 CMS lines crossing with 58 elite inbred lines in Maha 2016/17. F1 hybrids were field evaluated in test cross nursery in Yala 2017. All F1 hybrids and respective male parents were planted on progeny basis in a test cross nursery. Other agronomical practices were conducted according to the Department of Agriculture (DOA) recommendation. Pollen fertility/sterility of the F1 hybrids was observed via light microscope after staining them with I-KI solution. 56 pollen fertile F1 crosses were identified having >81% pollen fertility and 31 male parents were selected for restoration ability. Four pollen sterile F1 combinations were identified and they showed >98.6% pollen sterility and the pollen parents in these crosses were selected for maintaining ability (RES 256) and advanced to backcross breeding programme to develop new CMS lines.
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    A study on level of microbiological contamination in made tea as a raw material in commercial tea bagging factory and its workers' hand hygiene
    (2018) Dharmarathnaa, E.K.G.P.U.; Liyanawickramasinghea, T.R.; Aruppalab, A.L.Y.H.; Abeyrathneb, E.D.N.S.
    Hand hygiene prevents contamination in food processing; however, workers' adherence is poor. Made tea used in tea bagging were investigated with respect to microbial contamination to evaluate efficacy of hand hygiene practices. Investigation was based on workers with hand washing using selected sanitiser against wearing gloves. Samples were analysed according to Latin Square Design with replicates (n=3) and Standard microorganisms’ detection methods. Study showed that no significant differences (P>0.05) were in the aerobic plate count (APC), yeast and mould between hand hygiene treatments, indicating log 11.08+0.17 cfu g–1 and log 10.74+0.18 cfu g–1, respectively. Most frequent isolates were Aspergillus niger and, Aspergillus flavus in made tea samples. Findings of the study revealed that not only the substantial aspects of proper hand hygiene practices in workers associated with tea bagging but also using quality raw materials act as the one of fundamental importance to avoid the microbial contamination in made tea.
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    Paddy farmers’ attitude on cash grant as the fertilizer subsidy: A case in Badulla district of Sri Lanka
    (2018) Thennakoon, T.M.S.K.; Malkanthi, S.H.P.
    In Sri Lanka, fertilizer subsidy programme was simultaneously implemented with the introduction of high yielding paddy varieties. Since then, a number of changes were undertaken with regards to the fertilizer subsidy policy. A significant change happened during 2016 with the introduction of cash grand (fertilizer allowance) programme as an alternative for the fertilizer subsidy. Objectives of the study were to analyse the socio-economic characteristics of farmers and their attitude towards the alternative cash grant for the fertilizer subsidy, to evaluate the effect of cash grant on fertilizer usage and paddy yield and also to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of cash grant programme. A field survey was conducted to collect data from 120 farmers in Badulla from August to October 2017. Statistical tools including one sample t-test, Wilcoxon signed rank test and paired t-tests were used to analyse the collected data, along with descriptive statistics. As per the results, majority of the farmers were male and their general education level was up to ordinary level. They had a positive attitude towards providing a cash grant. However, they had showed a negative attitude on the amount of the cash grant programme and the time of receiving it. Furthermore, there was a reduction in fertilizer usage and paddy yield because of the cash grant programme. Reduction of wastage and corruptions of politicians, support of farmer organization and Convenience of providing an alternative cash grant for farmers were identified as strengths of fertilizer allowance while farmers’ negative attitude was a weakness about this alternative solution. Apart from that, possibility of transforming into organic agriculture, using quality fertilizer, low production cost and environmental protection were recognised as opportunities of the cash grant. In contrast, higher market price of fertilizer, time of receiving and tenant farmer conflicts were recognised as threats of cash grant programme. Therefore, it is required to make the cash grant program efficient and effective in future. Furthermore, arranging training and education programmes for farmers in order to adapt organic agriculture is timely important.
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    The effect of yeast extract supplementation on activity of bulk starter in cheese manufacturing: A laboratory simulation
    (2018) Mudannayakea, D.C.; Ongb, Nicole; Broomeb, Malcolm
    Starter culture plays a crucial role in deciding ultimate flavor, aroma, texture and moisture content of natural cheese. Milk, the traditionally used bulk starter (BS) media for cheese starter growth, is found not to provide all the nutrients for starter culture growth. This study investigated the effect of yeast extract as a BS media supplement in increasing cheese BS activity. The BS system and cheese vats in a selected commercial cheese factory were simulated on laboratory scale. Conditions used in the BS system and cheese vats such as temperature, pH, neutralising agent, starter strains and inoculum sizes were used equivalent to those that are used in the selected cheese factory. Effect of two commercial yeast extracts (YE-A and YE-F) on activity of Lactococcus lactis sub sp. cremoris strains 49, 831, 1926 ASCRC in BS were evaluated. Starter growth during BS fermentation was analysed determining lactic acid (LA) production and pH reduction. Activity of cultures was evaluated by continuous pH monitoring in simulated cheese vats. YE supplementation increased LA production in the BS and reduced fermentation time by 20% compared to traditional BS media. 0.5% YE-A and 0.2% YE-F were chosen as optimum levels for simulated BS. YE supplemented BS cultures were more active compared to no YE added BS cultures, allowing inoculum levels required to inoculate cheese vats to be reduced by 40%.
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    Assessment of women centered agricultural extension programmes in Balangoda Agriculture zone in Sri Lanka
    (2018) Malkanthi, S.H.P.
    In Sri Lanka, a significant number of new agricultural extension programmes has been launched by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) not only for male farmers but also for female farmers in order to uplift their living standards. Although, there is a very high proportion of labour force in the sector only a little pay contribution is made to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP). Hence, it is less productive. A major proportion of the agricultural labour force is female workers. Thus, this research assesses the impacts of agricultural extension programmes on women farmers in Balangoda Agriculture Division of Ratnapura district. Although, the extension programmes provided in this context have been useful, adoption levels of these extension programmes by women farmers were not so satisfactory. According to findings, 15 agricultural extension programmes have been conducted by the DOA. Among them, more adoption rates were found in “food technology and nutrition” and “kitchen management” programmes. Impacts of the extension programmes on women farmers were found as finding an extra income for their family, gaining knowledge on management of family health, nutrition level, reduction of family expenditure, enhancement in educational opportunities and having positive changes in their lives. Providing more support and market facilities will give better impacts of these programmes for the women farmers. Moreover, extension officers have to encourage and motivate women farmers to maintain these businesses in sustainable manner.