Agro Tourism

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Agro Technology Parks

File:Gannoruwa.jpg Main Entrance

Agro Technology Park Gannoruwa, one of the finest of its kind in Sri Lanka maintain by the department of Agriculture. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the central highlands, the park is bounded on three sides by a loop of river Mahaweli at Gannoruwa. Where there are majority of agricultural related institutions are located. The total area is 2km2. The mean elevation above sea level is about 1550 ft (473m). Since the working committee of the park consists of representatives from following units, this place is ideal for efficient management.

  • Audio Visual centre of the department of Agriculture-The administrator of the park
  • Head office of the DOA, Horticulture Research and Development Institute, Plant Genetic Resources Centre, Food Technology Research Unit, In-service Training Institute, Seed Certification Service, Plant Protection Service, Office of the Registrar of Pesticides, and Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Head office of Department of Export Agriculture (DEA) in Peradeniya and the DEA research station, training centre and sales centre in Matale (15 miles from Peradeniya).
  • Head office of Animal Production and Health, Research Station, Veterinary Research Institute and Central Training Centre of the Department of Animal Production and Health (AP & H).
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya.

Effort were made to establish a agro technology park in the agriculture department premises, first by the Dr. Rohan Wijekoon at Audio Visual Centre, Gannoruwa in 2004. Initially basic crops were grown here, then the scope was expanded, however to include all agricultural related activities to this park.

From the beginning, the orientation of the park remained so strongly focused on the quick information dissemination mechanism for farmers, School children and General public. Also it is place to see and learn latest recommendations of crop cultivation and technologies generated by both public (government departments and universities) and private institutions. It gives not only education & training mechanism but also aesthetically beautiful edible landscaping with tropical crops.

A signboard at the entrance, with a map, feature a numbered circuit from 1-36. The corresponding numbers are placed at strategic points on the route. 2km2 park, where you can easily stroll around a whole day, are stuffed with a bewildering variety of local & newly improved plant species. Varieties and technologies recommended by the Department of Agriculture for all crops are demonstrated in the field in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Areas were demarcated for paddy, vegetable, fruits, root crops, dry zone crops (other field crops) and floriculture. Instructors of each section provide necessary information for viewers. Self - explanatory instructional display boards were provided for each demonstration. The relevant research officer's/agricultural officer's name, address, telephone, fax email etc. was written on each display board for further clarification of the demonstration. In addition, important information/highlights of each demonstration were presented in a printed folder and sold for a nominal fee in each section of the garden.

Main sections and presentations

Vegetable garden

Vegetable garden located at the entrance of the A’park. All types of vegetables (up country, low country as well as mid country vegetables) are cultivated in this garden. Almost all recommended as well as research level varieties can be seen in here. Field level demonstration of all cultural practices, soil less culture or hydroponics and micro irrigation are being done in this section.

Roots and Tuber crops

All the local roots and tuber crops can be seen in this garden. Also almost all the recommended varieties and research level varieties of root and tuber crops can be seed here. All types are categorized in to groups with in this section.

Plant genetic resources

Almost all type of wild varieties as well as other newly improved varieties of plants genes collection stored in Plant Genetic Resources Centre, Gannoruwa.

Hi-tec Agriculture

Newly improved micro irrigation systems, protected agriculture methods etc can be seen in this section. Practical knowledge of this above systems and specimens can be experienced out of this.

Orchard

Almost all the fruits cultivated in Sri Lanka can be seen in the fruit garden. Because it is important specially for school children to identify rear species. In each fruits have their own cultural practices. All these cultural practices can be experience in this section.

Banana garden

Germplasm collection of banana, banana propagation techniques, Production techniques of high quality suckers, various system of field planting, Banana clump management, pest management, mulching, different systems of bunch covering can be seen in this section.

Environmental friendly integrated farming (organic farming)

Crops cultivation under organic condition has been demonstrated under this section. Application and practical knowledge of organic liquid fertilizers, organic pesticides as well as organic fungicide can be taken from this section. Allso we can get experience of crops management and animal husbandry in same field in this section.

Bee-keeping

Bee keeping area is located in In-Service Training Institute. It gives natural environment to collection of bee colonies. All the activities regarding bee keeping are demonstrated at regular intervals.

Gliricidia Plantation for dendro power

In this section demonstrate the dendro power generation from the Gliricidia.

Seed show

Production, storage and sales of almost all type of recommended varieties of crops seeds. Also this section gives the rules and regulations regarding the seeds and planting materials.

Crop Wild Relatives

Number of wild relatives of crops are conserved with in this section

Leafy vegetable garden

This area is separated for almost all types of leafy vegetables cultivated in Sri Lanka.

Dry zone crops (other field crops)

DOA recommended varieties of chilies, red and big onions, coarse grains, oil seed crops, grain legumes are established.

Fruit nursery

This section gives the practical knowledge of plant propagation. It shows the basics of nursery management.

Tissue culture division

The division of tissue culture gives the theories of tissue cultural methods as well as practical knowledge of this.

Indigenous food technology

Food technology section gives regular demonstrations of production and preservative methods of various types of local food items. Prospective entrepreneurs will get information of processing methodology, their post-processing handling procedure, shelf life and expiry date, bacteriological sanitation and information of mass balance in processing.

A mini fruit canning/bottling unit also established.

Organic agriculture research (under construction)

Citrus garden

All recommended (sweet orange, Calamancy, Thahiti, grapefruit, mandarin, pumello etc) and heritage citrus (rough lemon, Heen- naran, nattaran etc ) are established.


Rice section

In this section following technical sections are demonstrated.

  • Rice varietal development in Sri Lanka (traditional, introduction, old improved, New improved, hybrids)
  • Steps in rice variety development, and how to release a variety for general cultivation (hybridization, selection, yield trials, CRVT, VAT/DUST, LSVAT, commercial variety).
  • Small plot demonstration for popular rice varieties (3, 3 ½, 4-4 ½, 5-6 age classes)
  • Different growth stages- Nursery- Planting-Vegetative-Reproductive- Harvesting (crop will be arranged to be seen year around).
  • A demonstration to show factors contributing to high yielding (proper land preparation, quality seeds, time of cultivation, use of fertilizer, pest and disease management).
  • Correct diagnosis of field problems (pest and diseases, deficiency systems).
  • Identification of common rice weeds and control methods.
  • Development of hybrid rice technology.
  • Grain quality and post harvest technology

Science of the threshing (under construction)

Indigenous fish culture demonstration (under construction)

Demonstration of traditional tank (wewa) culture

Wewa and related surrounding elements are demonstrated with special reference to traditional cultural and social values of ancient agricultural village system in Sri Lanka. Various ancient and latest storage structures are constructed at the traditional threshing flow in the center of the gamgoda (traditional housing complex).

Traditional chena

A site was developed to a traditional chena. Advantages and disadvantages of chena are demonstrated. All the elements of the chena are explained.

Soil Profile and soil science

All aspects of soil can be seen with in this section. Also we can experience some rock types within this section.

Soil conservation and sacred tree

Practical knowledge of soil conservation methods can be obtained from this.

Export agriculture crops-spice garden

Different spices and relevant technologies are demonstrated in collaboratioe Department of Export Agriculture. A special section demonstrated to post harvest technologies of spices.

Plant quarantine unit

Rules and regulations of plant quarantine and related knowledge can be obtained from this section.

Insect zoo

An area is devoted for school children for discovery learning in Agriculture. This is a demonstration of faunal composition of agriculture eco system. A live insect collection is exhibited in cages for observation of insect life cycle and mode of damage to plants. Insect preserving techniques also demonstrated for school children.

Plant Pathology

This section demonstrates almost all types of diseases come under the crops. It also gives knowledge of preventive mechanisms as well as control measures.

Mushroom house

A mushroom production unit is established in HORDI premises. Regular demonstrations and trainings are held for skill development in mushroom cultivation.

Agricultural museum

The entire park is a crop museum consists of all the food crops, fruits and heritage crops. In-addition, traditional tools, equipments, historical evidences are demonstrated in each section of the park. Evolution of rice in the world as well as in Sri Lanka is depicted in the rice section of the park.

Modern home garden

An area to depict animal-crop integration and a typical present day house with energy saving strategies, landscaping with potted plants, dwarf fruits, a hobby tunnel, hydrophonic garden etc. are established. Home gardens of adjoining villages will be developed to show variety of home garden models.

Sales Centre

Entrepreneurs sales (sale centre for traditional foods) An area for entrepreneurs to sell their products (such as soya products, mushroom products, canned food, preserved food, horticultural plants, vegetable seedlings for home garden, hydroponics & poly tunnel vegetables, organic fertilizer etc.) is demarcated.

DOA sales

Sales centers to sell agricultural publications, CD-ROMs,seeds, etc. are incorporated in-addition to plant sales. DOA sales centre established close to the main road, so that people who visit the garden can buy anything they want, on the way back to home. Even people who don't visit the park can also buy farm fresh agricultural products without entering the park.

Jack Garden

All type of jack varieties cultivated in Sri Lanka is cultivated in this garden. Existing germplasm collection of jackfruits are improved to a presentable form.

Under utilized fruit garden

Almost all types of under utilized fruit crops in Sri Lanka can be seen in this garden.

Gamgoda

Medicinal garden

A collection of medicinal plants can be seen in this garden. Gamgoda

Stabilized chena

Chena farming has become a non-sustainable system of agriculture in Sri Lanka with the increase of population pressure on land. Therefore, research attention concentrated to develop and introduce a new system of farming system namely stabilized chena as an alternative for traditional chena. On farm and off farm soil conservation, water harvesting, water conservation methods, land preparation methods, planting methods are demonstrated in this area.

Heritage crop museum

Heritage crops are demonstrated depicting nutritional, genetic and medicinal value of each crop.

Indigenous rice garden

Traditional rice cultivation with all traditional rice varieties are exhibited. Indigenous pest control methods also will be demonstrated in the future

Bata Atha

Objectives of the Park

File:Batatha.jpg

  • Technology transfer to the farmer through live specimens
  • Demonstration of new & old agricultural technologies
  • Promotion of agro tourism for local & foreign tourists
  • Distribution of seeds, plants, leaflets & other technology transfer materials
  • As a centre to distribute agriculture technology information & instructions
  • Generation of direct & indirect employment opportunities

Different Sections of the Agro Technology Park

  • Rain water harvesting farm
  • Fruit orchard
  • Underutilized fruit orchard
  • Floriculture gardens
  • Dry zone home garden
  • Herbal garden
  • Improved chena
  • Evolution of the paddy cultivation
  • Crop wild relative demonstration
  • Banana cultivation
  • Crop museum
  • Irrigation methods
  • Seed demonstrations
  • Resting areas
  • Bathing vent
  • Video presentations & the auditorium
  • Bee keeping unit
  • Sales centre & the information centre
  • Open-air theatre

Botanical Garden

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden

Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is renowned for the collection the variety of Orchids, and has more than 300 varieties of Orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palms trees attach it is the National Herbarium. Total land mass of the botanical garden is 147 acres, 460 Meters above sea level with a 200 day annual rain fall, it is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.

History

The origins of the Botanic Gardens dates as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near Mahaweli river this was followed by King Kirti Sri and King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. A temple was build on this location by King Wimala Dharma but it was destroyed by the British when they were given control over the Kandyan Kingdom. There after the ground work for a Botanical Garden were formed by Mr Alexandar Moon in 1821. Botanical Garden at Peradeniya were formally established and plants from Kew Garden at Slave island, Colombo and from the Kalutara Garden in Kalutara were moved up until 1843. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya was made more independent and expanded under Mr George Gardner as its superintendent in 1844. The gardens came under the administration of the Department of Agriculture when it was established in 1912. The Classical Avenue of Palms is located in this Garden. One tree with a significant history is the Cannon ball Tree planted by King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary in 1901. The tree is bent with its fruits which looks like Cannon Ball, which is how it came to be named. It also used during the Second World War by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in the South Asia as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command.

Hakgala Botanical Garden

Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the three Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka. The other two being Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Henarathgoda Botanical Garden. It is the second largest Garden in Sri Lanka. The garedn is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve. There are over 10,000 species of flora planted here and during the Spring season in Nuwara Eliya thousands of visitors come to see the blooms here. Number of annual visitors is around 500,000. The Garden is famous for number of species of Orchids and Roses are planted there.

Location and climate

Hakgala Botanical Garden is situated on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla main road, 16 km from Nuwara Eliya. The garden has a cool temperate climate because of altitude is 5,400 feet above the sea level. The mean annual temperature ranges between 16°C to 30°C during course of a year.From December to February it has a cold climate, while the warm climate persists from April to August.

History

Garden established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. Once after the Tea replace the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a Garden since then many sub tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens.

Folklore

In the folklores, it says Sri Lankan Demon King Ravana after abducting Sita, kept her hidden in this area and area was offered to Sita as a Pleasure Garden, the place finds mention in the Ramayana as Ashok Vatika. The area was named as "Sita Eliya" and "Sita Amman Temple" was built on the site.

Gampaha Henarathgoda Botanical Garden

Henarathgoda Botanic Gardens is situated within easy reach of the Gampaha Railway Station, and are not more than 500 yards away from the Gampaha-Minuwangoda road. The distance from Colombo is 18 miles. Original extent of gardens was about 36 acres in extent, slightly undulated, the elevation being 33 ft. above mean sea level. An additional 7 acres was added in 2005.

Henarathgoda Botanic Gardens today functions as an urban botanic garden serving the community in many ways. In addition to its role in ex-situ conservation, botanical research and education, development of domestic floriculture has also become a major activity of the Henarathgoda Botanic gardens. It is also a popular site for recreation.

The average annual rainfall in the area is about 2,500 mm. January, February, and March are the hottest and driest months of the year, but heavy rains are not unusual even during this period. The south-west monsoon rains from about April to August fall vary heavily. The north-east monsoon occurs from September onwards, is uniformly distributed.