The main research and administration unit of RRDI is located at Batalagoda. The Regional Agricultural Research and Development Center, Bombuwela and its satellite research stations at Labuduwa and Bentota cater to the needs of the low country wet zone region. Whereas the Rice Research Station, Ambalantota holds the responsibility for the development of rice for the southern rice belt.
The Director for Rice Research and Development is responsible for overall research and administrative functions of the Institute. The Deputy Directors for Research at Batalagoda and Bombuwela and Research Officer-in-Charge at Ambalantota look over the research activities at their respective centers.
Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) continues to play a major role in the country’s rice sector by releasing new high yielding rice varieties and introducing improved rice production and protection technologies to help farmers realize the yield potentials of the varieties that they grow. The research and development programs at RRDI focuses on increasing farm productivity from the current 3.6 t/ha to 4.5 t/ha within the next 5 years, reducing cost of production and improving grain quality of rice.
Effort were made to develop techniques that will help increase rice plant’s nutrient use efficiency. A need base fertilizer application method is being tested. This would help maximize effectiveness of fertilizers applied and reduce cost of production. Other agronomic practices to reduce production costs are been tested.
The hybrid rice research program was further strengthened with the financial and technical assistance from IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) /ADB funded Hybrid rice project and with technical assistance from the Government of PR China. In an effort to attain a quantum jump in rice yields, breeding programs were initiated to develop varieties with a few tillers, sturdy culm and heavy panicles - a plant architecture designated as the new-plant type. Both traditional varieties (like Bandara Heththava) and introduced lines from IRRI were used in the breeding program.
The Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) strive to bring about self-reliance in rice despite changes in trade policies that adversely affected the rice grower. It pursues this goal by consistently developing technology for obtaining high yield with excellent quality. When we look back at the DOA’s achievements in this field over the last 5 years, we see a ten-fold increase in rice production and a five and-a- half-fold increase in average yields. The increase in yield per unit area can be attributed to large-scale adoption of improved production technologies.
At present the country produces 96% of required amount of rice. However, to meet the growing needs of the population, it is necessary to produce more in the future. This is a serious challenge as several biotic, a biotic and social factors continue to limit the productivity, and we are forced to increase rice production with less land, labor and water and limited use of chemicals.
The RRDI, therefore, continues to strengthen research and development activities in respect of vertical improvement, soil fertility and its sustainability, pest, disease and weed management, post harvest and grain quality and production technologies.
National Prosperity through Excellence in Rice Production.
To be the National Center for the Development and Dissemination of Technologies to Improve the Productivity and Profitability of Rice Farming and Quality of Rice.
Dr Ms Bentota A.P
Dr Keerthisena R.S.K