Central Research Station, Matale

Contact Details

Department of Export Agriculture, Matale 21300, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 66 222 2822, +94 66 223 1249
Fax: +94 66 222 2822
Email: ears_matale@dea.gov.lk/, resesarchmatale@gmail.com

1)   Overview

Functions and responsibilities of the research station. (50-75 words)

Central Research Station – Matale is the main research station belongs to the Department of Export Agriculture. The research programs of the Central Research Station based on the consideration of export agricultural crops and on their products. Research activities are being conducted under several disciplines on agronomy, entomology, plant breeding, plant pathology, plant physiology, post-harvest and soil science.  

Spanned area of 172 acres are mainly consist of laboratory complexes, farm buildings, quarters, research fields and germplasm collections of relevant export agricultural crops. In addition to that nursery plant production is carried out according to requirements of researchers and other stakeholders.

Laboratory experiments are being conducted in seven separate divisions mainly to identification of pathogens, pest and diseases, to develop new varieties, for fertilizer recommendations, to develop fine agronomic practices and to develop value added products. Moreover, knowledge transfer to farmers, students and entrepreneurs is done by the research station as per required.

2)   Divisions of the Institute

Research Divisions

  • Agronomy Division
  • Entomology Division
  • Genetics & Plant Breeding
  • Plant Pathology Division
  • Plant Physiology & Plant Production
  • Post-Harvest Technology Division
  • Soil Science & Plant Nutrition Division


  • National Spice Garden
  • Research Farm & The Nursery
  • Plant Protection Unit
  • Library
  • Crop Museum & Seed Garden
  • Soil Techno Park & Plant Houses
  • The Director’s Office
  • The Farm & The General Stores
  • Agro-Meteorological Observatory
  • Workshop & Machinery Section

3)   On-going Research areas under the divisions

Agronomy Division

  • Evaluation of field performance of rooted cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.)  at Matale
  • Home garden model of export agricultural crops at Matale
  • Evaluation of different irrigation techniques for pepper (Piper nigrum L.) in different agroclimatic zones in Sri Lanka
  • Evaluation of plant training system effect on growth and yield of Arabica coffee (HDT) under natural shade
  • Rehabilitation of improved cultivars of cocoa at Matale
  • Study the growth and yield performance of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) under micro irrigation.
  • Evaluation of cocopeat as a potential substitute for recommended potting media   to coffee.
  • Effect of extreme weather events on productivity of Export Agriculture Crops.
  • Improvement of resource use efficiency of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) to increase yield through support tree manipulation.
  • Effect of Planting Material Originated from Different Cutting Types on Canopy Development of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.).
  • Effects of the age and grafting portion of rootstock on approach grafting of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.)
  • Study of flowering and fruiting behaviour of newly introduced Piper nigrum variety (Dingirala) and local selection (MB-12) in Matale and Nillamba of Sri Lanka.
  • Effect of micro- irrigation on yield performances of Areca nut (Areca catechu) + Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) system.
  • Effects of different harvesting age of rhizomes on growth and yield of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)

Entomology Division

  • Use of Beauveria brassiana for the control of coffee berry borer
  • Evaluation of new hybrid black pepper varieties against insect pest damages
  • Investigations of biological control agents of coffee berry borer
  • Screening of wild types of cardamom against thrips (Sciothrips cardamom Ramk.)
  • Design a trap for coffee berry borer
  • Evaluation of new hybrid black pepper varieties against insect pest damages.

Genetics and Plant Breeding Division

  • Evaluation of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) accessions for yield, quality and resistant to major pest & diseases. 
  • Evaluation of promising cardamom lines for low elevation under Mahogony (Kiriella)
  • Evaluation of different cocoa lines for different climatic zones (Matale, Badalkumbura)
  • Molecular biological sex determination of Nutmeg
  • Finger printing of Cardamom accessions
  • Fixing Geographical indication for pepper in Sri Lanka
  • Fixing Geographical indication for coffee in Sri Lanka
  • In-situ evaluation of local pepper selections 
  • Characterization of available cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) lines and Establishment of a clonal garden
  • Field evaluation of low elevation cardamom varieties under irrigation 
  • Collection, Characterization, Conservation and Utilization of Piper species exist in Sri Lanka
  • Exploration of Goraka (Garcinia quesita Pierre and Garcinia zeylanica Roxb.) accessions based on chemical properties and establishment of a field gene bank
  • Determination of QTL (Quantative Trait Loci) molecular markers for quantitative characters of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)
  • Identify the varietal difference in rooting of black pepper cuttings in cocoa – peat
  • Analysis of Quick Wilt resistance in wild pepper and improvement of Quick Wilt resistant black pepper variety

Plant Pathology Division

  • Defining visual indicators for nematode borne slow wilt of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) and investigating the effect of different control methods on pepper slow wilt causing nematodes.
  • Preparation of a talc-based formulation of bio control agent Trichoderma spp.
  • Management of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) quick wilt disease through enhancing rhizosphere antagonistic microflora
  • Development and Implementation of Integrated disease management (IDM) package for major diseases of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)

Plant Physiology and Plant Production

  • Collection and investigation for growth, yield and chemical properties of different Garcinia (Garcinia quaesita Pierre.) selections in Sri Lanka
  • Comparison of growth and yield of pepper raised from orthotropic (terminal), plagiotropic and rooted cuttings from Bamboo rapid multiplication system.  
  • Comparison of growth and yield of pepper (Piper nigrum L.) raised from tissue cultured plants and single nodal cutting plants.
  • In-vitro propagation of Export Agricultural Crops (Garcinia, Wallapatta and Pepper (Hybrids)
  • Application of Plant Growth regulators (PGR) for flowering induction of clove (Eugenia caryophyllus)
  • Field evaluation of the seedlings and air layered planting materials from different sizes of lateral and upright branches of high yielding matured Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
  • Synchronization of flowering and fruiting behaviour of Grafted Nutmeg in the context of climate change effects.

Post-Harvest Technology Division

  • Determination of caffeine content of Arabica and Robusta coffee selections
  • Identification of critical hazards in cinnamon primary processing and improvement of quality in cinnamon primary process by reducing hazards contamination
  • Investigation on medicinal value of cinnamon base products
  • Aloe vera cultivation, different cultivar collection and product development
  • Development of Sugar free biscuits incorporated with Cinnamon and evaluation of its quality characteristics
  • Determination of chemical constituents & antioxidant properties of nutmeg in Sri Lanka
  • Determination of chemical constituents & antioxidant properties of turmeric in Sri Lanka
  • Development of small-scale coffee roaster
  • Development of Nutmeg splitting tool
  • Analysis of physio-chemical properties of turmeric powder available in Sri Lankan market
  • Isolation of Piperin from whole dried black pepper

Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Division

  • Investigation of effect of source of nitrogen on growth and yield of black pepper
  • Strategies for organic cultivation of Arabica coffee
  • Effect of cover crops on soil properties, growth and yield of pepper (Piper nigrum L).
  • Productivity Improvement of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Through integrated soil and plant nutrient management system including good management practices
  • Development of soil conditioner using bio-fortified cocoa pod husk for reclamation of cocoa fields
  • Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal infections on occurrence of yellowing in Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) plants under different soil moisture levels
  • Development of land suitability classification for black pepper (Piper nigrum L) in Sri Lanka
  • Sustainable methods of growing ginger/ turmeric in containers for household consumption and for commercial purposes
  • Recycling of pepper stalks for sustainable crop production in pepper plantations (Piper nigrum L) in Sri Lanka
  • Study of inorganic fertilizer response and pest and disease resilience of new black pepper hybrid “Dingirala” variety in dry zone of Sri Lanka

4)   Services provided by the research station

  1. Research and development activities on Spices and allied crops for stretching potentials of the sector
    1. Training – offer training opportunities to various stakeholder groups


  • University students (In-plant training and undergraduate research projects)
  • Students from technical colleges
  • Students from Agriculture Schools
  • School Children
  • Producer – training on value added products and post-harvest technology
  • Farmers
    • Supply of nucleus material for plant material production
  • Release of new varieties
  • Mass production of planting materials on demand
    • Crop museum
  • Conservation of germplasm
  • Seed gardens
  • Bud wood nurseries
    • Involve in Export Agriculture Crops related publications
  • Technical bulletin
    • Advisory programs
  • Field inspections
  • Plantation advisory programs