Fifth & Sixth Meetings of National Committee on Crop Improvement & Agronomy.

Fifth & Sixth meetings of the National Committee on Crop Improvement & Agronomy were held on 16/05/2019 at the SLCARP Secretariat and on 31/05/2019 at the PGRC respectively.  Both meetings were held to further fine-tuned the National Research Priorities on Agronomy developed at the Workshop on “Current Status and Future Directions in Agronomy Research” , held at  RRDI, Batalagoda.

At the 5th meeting, all the resource persons (Agronomists) who made presentations on Plantation crops, Food crops, Export Agricultural crops, Floriculture crops, forestry etc. were invited for the further discussion and their consent. Final draft National Research Priorities on Agronomy was developed at this meeting.  At the six meeting this draft document was further fine-tuned by the Committee members of the National Committee on Crop Improvement & Agronomy. The National Research Priorities on Agronomy will be published at the 3rd quarter of this year.

On-Site visit to Plant Virus Indexing Centre (PVIC) by National Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology (NCAB)

One of the mandatory functions of SLCARP is to monitor and evaluate the progress of research projects conducted under National Agricultural Research Plan (NARP) programme in National Agricultural Research System (NARS) frequently. On the above, half year progress monitoring of the respective researches under each National Committee is conducting once in six months period by the National Committees. Simultaneously, on site visits are also accompanied to evaluate the physical progress of the each research project.

Currently six research projects are commissioned under National Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology (NCAB) at SLCARP. Out of that 3 projects are being undertaking at Plant Virus Indexing Centre (PVIC), Homagama under Department of Agriculture. For physical evaluation of the above projects at PVIC, an on-site visit was arranged on 10th June 2019 with the participation of a team consisted of 3 members namely Dr. (Mrs.) R.N. Attanayake (Senior Lecturer, University of Kelaniya), Dr. (Mrs.) H.D.D. Bandupriya (Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo) and Mr. Lakshika Hettiarachchi (Research Officer, SLCARP) representing NCAB.

The team invigilated on-going activities under each project and assisted principal investigators of the respective projects to scrutinize their works in future activities by sharing their expertise.

 

A good progress is shown by all projects and a summary of the progress review is as follow;  

1.      Development of technologies for the production of virus free planting materials through propagation techniques for selected fruit crops ( papaya, citrus and pineapple special varieties) –  Dr. ( Mrs.) B.M.V.S. Basnayake,  Plant Virus Indexing Centre

     

     Since promising lines have been developed for pineapple, it is better to conduct multi location trials to screen the best line. Team suggested to try SSR genotyping for selected characteristics for easy screening of viruses and diseases. Further team asked to search a better vector or other method to replace PCAMBIA

 

2. Optimization of Micro propagation protocol for DOA recommended Banana variety “Agra” –  Mr. S.M. Nagahawatta, Plant Virus Indexing Centre

 

      Team identified the difficulty of multiplication of “Kolikuttu” through micro propagation and a successful protocol has been developed by the researchers.

3. Development of promising pomegranate lines through in vitro mutation induction – Ms. L. G. I. Samanmalee, Plant Virus Indexing Centre

     

     It is proposed to use shoot cuttings for propagation of plants and suggested to use well-known or popular variety either local or foreign for propagation and establish a germ plasm for future breeding programmes. Overall the progress was well with interesting findings.