Fruit Crop Research and Development Station, Peradeniya

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Fruit Crop Research & Development Station


The total land area of the institute is 14.73 hectares (36.83 acres) and it consists of office premises, 15 plots of official quarters and.10 plots used for research

It is situated in a historical location, where the Battle of Gannoru has been taken place, during the supremacy of King Rajasinghe II, in 1638, which was defeated by the Portuguese invasion of the upcountry. The site is located in a beautiful environment bordered by a mountain reserve in the north and west and the Mahaweli river in the south and east. There are evidences that it has been used as an agricultural land since ancient times, with having fertile soil and year-round rainfall.

Introduction Cont...

Initially, it is known as the “Garden of the Kings”, consisted of many diverse crops species and conducted research activities. Over the time, now it has been evolved as fruit crop research and development station; conducts research, development and extension activities on fruit crops. Mainly focused on major fruit species (Avocado, durian, rambutan, banana, jack fruit and guava) as well as underutilized fruit crops (Nelli, Mora, Masan, Madan, Karawala Kabilla, etc.) in Sri Lanka. Up to now, fourteen fruit crops species have been released from the station. Five major fruit crop species (Gannoruwa sweet - durian, Gannoruwa sudu – seeni kesel, Gannoruwa  – rath kesel, gannoruwa mango-1 and gannoruwa guava -1) and nine underutilized fruit crop species(Gannoruwa nelli, Gannoruwa mora- Neeroda, Gannoruwa masang –Green big, two types of Gannoruwa Madan- Eladan and Purple big, Gannoruwa- karawalakabilla- Red bunch, three types of water-rose apple / jambu Rubby jiant, Ruby drop and Thai red).

The Fruit Crop Research and Development Station is comprised with 3 main divisions. As Research division, Plant Propagation and Nursery Management division and Extension division. The Research Division conducts researches, releasing promising accessions as recommended varieties and develops technologies on major and underutilized fruits. Planting materials are producing by the Plant Propagation and Nursery Management division. The Extension division disseminates newly developed agricultural knowledge and technologies among the growers. Training programs are aimed to increase the fruit production and productivity, the ways and means that encourage people to increase daily fruit consumption / their nutritional intake and distribute the knowledge of marketing/ processing and value addition products of fruits.

History and Evolution of the Institution

Before the defeat of the Kandyan Kingdom by the British, the area around Gannoruwa used as a fruit orchard and as a leisure garden of the King. It is also known as the “King’s Garden”.

In 1825, Sir Edward Barnes, the British Governor for Ceylon, reserved 500 acres of land in ​​Gannoruwa to establish a ‘Highland plantation’ and maintained as his private estate. He used the land for cultivate grass, fruit species and medicinal crops. After his death, the land was acquired by the government in the year of 1902 and started to cultivate diverse crop species such as cocoa, coconut, rubber, orange, lime, nutmeg and grass. Besides of that, started to grow exotic fruit species, especially European fruit crops in experimental level.

History Cont...

During the period of 1912-1922, the first Director General of Agriculture, Mr. R.L. Line allocated this land for conducting researches and established as an independent management unit, named as “Government Farm” Gannoruwa.  Mr. Stockdale, the second Director General of Agriculture (1916), upgraded the research station as the first model farm in the Department of Agriculture. He initiated to conduct researches on tea, coconut, rubber, coffee, cocoa, pepper, paddy and fruit crops (mango, jackfruit, pineapple and citrus species (sweet orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, jambola and jamanarang).  During the period of 1923-1932, started researches on Pineapple and planting material production program (Kiwi, Mauritius and Ripley Queen). With that, the authority and responsibility for the production of planting material of fruit crops was handed over to this Model Farm, Gannoruwa from the Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya.

During the period 1933-1942, Mr.A.C. Richard completed his postgraduate degree in Fruit in California and assumed duties as second horticultural officer at Gannoruwa. Mr. T.H. Person was the first horticultural officer. He continued the researches on fruit crops (durian, avocado, mango, rambutan, jackfruits, citrus species and sapota etc) along with other crops; tea, rubber and coconut.

With establishment of the “Central Research Institute”, Gannoruwa in 1953-1962, the responsibility on fruit researches was assigned to it.  Gannoruwa Research Farm, renamed as “Government Seed Farm” and developed as a main center for vegetable seed production and high-quality fruit planting material production center in the country.

 During the period of 1973-1982, “Government Seed Farm” converted as “Horticultural Research Farm”, with the commence of Horticultural Crops Research and Development Project by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It was managed by the Horticulture Division of the Department of Agriculture. Main duties assigned as conduct projects on fruit crops, conduct research and extension services and act as the main center for production and distribution of planting materials of fruit crops.

Under the restructuring project of the Department of Agriculture, within the period of 1993-2002, The Horticultural Crops Research and Development Institute was established.  The Horticultural Research Farm renamed as Horticultural Research Unit II; retained under the Horticultural Crops Research and Development Institute.  

In the year 2012, Horticultural Research Unit II was separated from the management of the Horticultural Crops Research and Development Institute and positioned under the Fruit Crops Research and Development Institute, Horana. It was renamed as, “Fruit Crop Research and Development station”, Gannoruwa.


To achieve sustainable economic and social development in the country, technology development and knowledge dissemination of fruit crops.


Germplasm exploration, collection and evaluation of social and economic value in fruit crops, introduce new crop varieties, germplasm conservation, development of technology and knowledge dissemination.


  • Exploration, evaluation, multiplication of genetic resources of major and indigenous underutilized fruit crops under food security and crop diversification and endowment of new fruit varieties to the nation.
  • Generation of new technologies to improve fruit crop productivity and quality.
  • Conducting research on specific properties and medicinal values of the less popular fruit varieties.
  • Popularize underutilized fruit crops in home gardens (urban/rural) and generation of technologies.

       –   Pot cultivation

       –   Landscaping technology in association with fruit crops

  • Promotion of underused orchards (urban / rural) and generation of technology.
  • Conducting training programs on fruit crop cultivation and related specialized technologies

Head of FCRDS

Mrs. A.V.C.Abayagunasekara

Deputy Director


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