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15th Annual Research Symposium - Faculty of Agriculture, Rajarata University

13 Mar 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

The Faculty of Agriculture (FoA), Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (RUSL) held its 15th Annual Research Symposium throughout the day on Thursday, February 08, 2024 at its faculty premises at Puliyankulama, Anuradhapura. The theme for this year symposium was ‘Towards Food Sovereignty Through Sustainable Agriculture’. 

The program began with a formal inaugural session in the morning held at the auditorium of the FoA, RUSL. This occasion was graced by the presence of Prof. (Ms.) G.A.S. Ginigaddara, Vice Chancellor of RUSL as the chief guest; Prof. G.V.T.V. Weerasooriya, Dean of the FoA, RUSL; Deans of other faculties of RUSL; Prof. M.G.T.S. Amarasekara, Symposium Coordinator; Dr. Nimal Chandrasiri, Environmental Economist, former Deputy Director of Central Environmental Authority and current Council Member of RUSL who served as the Keynote Speaker; academics including Professors and Lecturers from FoA, other faculties of RUSL and other Universities; professionals from different research institutes in Sri Lanka; academic-supportive staff; non-academic staff, undergraduate and graduate students of the FoA, RUSL.

The inaugural session was commended with the tradition of lighting the oil lamp followed by reciting the University anthem. The Welcome Address was delivered by Prof. Amarasekara as the Coordinator of the symposium. Ms. D.M.A.D. Samarakoon, student of the passing out 2017/2018 batch majoured in Crop Science shared her experience gained during research training.

This was followed by speeches from Prof. Weerasooriya, the Dean, FoA and Prof. (Ms.) Ginigaddara, the Vice Chancellor. The inaugural session was made splendid by the video presentation screened in which the highlights of student research were available. The Vice Chancellor, RUSL, in her message, appreciated the commitment made by the students to harness the innovations in contemporary topics in agriculture and congratulated them as emerging scientists. The Dean, FoA, projected the contribution made by their students through research to solve the agriculture-related issues in the country. 

The symposium coordinator highlighted the great opportunity that the students received through the symposium to present their well-deserved research findings to an audience of eminent scientists. The Editor-in-Chief of the symposium admired the effort of students to sail in science by applying the concepts of philosophy in to experimentation. The video presentation was followed by launching of the symposium proceedings and symbolized by handing over the CD containing the abstracts of student research to the Vice Chancellor by Dr. L.K.W. Wijayaratne, the Editor-in-Chief of the symposium. Following this, the awards for the Excellence in Research, Scholarly and Creative Work in 2022 were presented to the academics who excelled in their work; the awards contained a plaque and certificate. Mr. W.V.V.R. Weerasinghe won the first place whereas Prof. N.S. Abeysinghe and Dr. K.R.E. Padmathilake won the second and third places, respectively.

Following the inauguration session, the Technical Sessions were held at 10 venues at the FoA, RUSL where the undergraduate students presented the outcomes of their research conducted over the last six months in widely-different fields of agriculture belonging to the following eight majouring modules: Agricultural Biology, Agricultural Economics and Extension, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Systems and Management, Animal Production and Technology, Crop Science, Environmental Soil Management, Food and Postharvest Technology. Altogether 131 students presented their research findings. In addition, there was a postgraduate session where four MPhil and four MAgri students of the postgraduate program conducted by the FoA, RUSL presented their research findings.

The closing ceremony was held in the evening of the same day at the auditorium of the FoA, RUSL. Prof. G.V.T.V. Weerasooriya, Dean and Prof. M.G.T.S. Amarasekara, symposium coordinator chaired the session. The most outstanding presenter selected from each majoring module (8 students from 8 modules) was awarded a medal and a certificate at this occasion. The winners of the undergraduate technical sessions were Ms. W.M.S.S. Senevirathne (Agricultural Biology), Ms. P.D.N.S. Palihena (Agricultural Economics and Extension), Ms. R.D.A.D. Gunathilaka (Agricultural Engineering), Ms. M. D. A. N. H. Jayasundara (Agricultural Systems and Management), Ms. K. M. M. S. Attanayake (Animal Production and Technology), Ms. H.K.M.R.A.M. Kumarasinghe (Crop Science), Ms. M.A. Priyamala (Environmental Soil Management) and Ms. Y.A.N.T. Jayasinghe (Food and Post-harvest Technology). In the postgraduate session, Ms. K.G.N.H. Kumari became the best presenter. 

In addition, the winners and participants of 3MT competition where the students presented their research in 3 minutes, were awarded medals and certificates. In the 3MT competition, Ms. K.G.N.S. Perera was the winner while Ms. W.A.C.K. Rupasinghe and Ms. W.W.M.T.C.K. Wijesundara became the first and second runners-up. Ms. K.G.N.S. Perera won the Peoples’ Choice. In addition to the above winners, the participants of the final round of 3MT (Ms. K.M.M.S. Attanayake, Ms. L.D.R. Silva, Ms. W.A.A.K. Weerasinghe, Ms. I.S.K. Devindi, Ms. N.F. Waseela) were awarded certificates. The program came to an end with the address by Prof. G.V.T.V. Weerasooriya, Dean, by recapitulating the proceedings of the day and congratulating the passing out batch of students for their successful completion of the degree program at the FoA, RUSL.

As reported here, it is indeed glamorous to note the progressive work of regionally-located Rajarata University of Sri Lanka and its Faculty of Agriculture at present. As a state university, it contributes to the national development by producing high quality graduates to cater the needs of the country. This current progress provides clear evidence how the entire faculty and the university work as one family to advance its educational and research programs which would not only reflect its identical efforts but also help to further uplift its ranking among universities in the world. The entire community lead by the present Vice Chancellor of RUSL, Prof. (Ms.) G.A.S. Ginigaddara and Dean of the FoA, Prof. G.V.T.V. Weerasooriya is fully committed for this achievement.