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Facilitate the international movement of healthy plants and plant products for the development of national agriculture and related industries


• Prevention of introduction, establishment and spread of dangerous alien pests within the country.

• Involvement in domestic pest control programmes

• Development of treatment technologies to eradicate pests of quarantine importance.

• Promotion of export of healthy plants and plant products. 


This service has the responsibility of enforcing and implementation of Plant Protection Act No.35 of 1999 and Regulations made thereunder in relation to plant quarantine activities. It also conducts research and development activities in plant quarantine aspects.


In 1869, a rust disease Hemileia vastatrix wiped out the coffee plantation in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Subsequently Indonesia passed legislation banning coffee imports including sacs used for packing coffee from Sri Lanka and it was the first plant quarantine law in the Asian region.
In Sri Lanka, British scientists of the Department of Agriculture at Peradeniya commenced plant quarantine activities in 1880s. This was necessitated because; Sri Lanka became a centre for identification of pests affecting crop plants. Regional countries have sent here the samples for scientific studies. After the establishment of Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) at Gannoruwa, Peradeniya, all the plant quarantine activities were carried out jointly in the divisions of Entomology and Plant pathology of the same Institute. In early 1980s with the help of Australian government, a separate unit for Plant quarantine activities was established in Gannoruwa within the premises of CARI. A Chief Plant Quarantine officer was appointed assigning all the responsibilities of plant quarantine in Sri Lanka. In 1994, the present National Plant Quarantine Service complex was established at Katunayake with the financial assistance of the Japanese Government.