The Department of Export Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture conducted ‘Academic Session 2021’ in the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, as an online event on August 20, 2021 under the theme of “Science of today is the technology of tomorrow”. This is the second Academic Session consecutively organized by the Department of Export Agriculture and it was financially supported under the AHEAD-ELTA-ELSE Development Project.
The prime objective of the annual Academic Session is to create a platform for final year undergraduates to experience research dissemination process aligning with the university vision where many of the research projects have been conducted covering two key aspects: value addition to agriculture based resources and promoting entrepreneurship. The students should also learn about efficient and effective dissemination of research findings to their target audience. The technical sessions were conducted under four tracks namely (1) Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, (2) Crop Production Technology, (3) Food Science and Technology and (4) Processing Technology. Two parallel sessions were held for the Crop Production Technology and Food Science and Technology tracks given the high number of presenters. Research presentations were evaluated by a panel of eminent scholars in the particular field and the best research dissemination was selected under each track.
At the inception, Prof. Wasantha Senevirathna, Head, Department of Export Agriculture welcomed all participants to the session giving an overview to the Academic Session 2021. Prof. Saman K. Herath, Dean, Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture addressed the gathering highlighting the importance of such an annual event for the career development of students and adding his best wishes for the success of the event. The ‘Keynote Speech’ was delivered by Mr. Priyanga Dematawa, Chief Operating Officer, DIMO-Agribusiness, Sri Lanka, elaborating the theme of the Academic Session 2021. Dr. Shashika D. Rathnayaka, Coordinator, Academic Session 2021 delivered the ‘Vote of Thanks’ at the end of the inaugural session.
Closing ceremony was enlightened by the presentation delivered by Dr. Melani Arachchi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Export Agriculture on her PhD research. ‘Academic Session 2021’ ended up successfully with the recognition of six presenters as Merit Awardees for the best research disseminations representing each track. Finally, Dr. Prasad Mahindarathne, Department Coordinator, AHEAD-ELTA-ELSE Development Project, delivered the Concluding Remarks.
List of Merit Awardees
|No.||Track||Name of the Awardee|
|1||Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management||Ms. S.A.P. Pramodani|
|2||Crop Production Technology I||Mr. W.D. Samarasingha|
|3||Crop Production Technology II||Ms. J.R.J.Kaushalya|
|4||Food Science and Technology I||Mr. R.C. Prasad|
|5||Food Science and Technology II||Ms. W.N.K. Fernando|
|6||Processing Technology||Ms. M.W.H.N.M. Siriwardhana|
Dr. Shashika D. Rathnayaka and Dr. Melani Arachchi served as the Coordinator and Secretary, respectively, in the Academic Session 2021. Meanwhile, the Advisory Committee consisted with Prof. Saman K. Herath, Prof. Wasantha Senevirathne, Dr. Prasad Mahindarathna, Dr. Chandima Ranawana, Dr. Dayani Gunathilake and Dr. Chathura S. Wijethunga.
Mrs. Chathurika Banagala, Ms. Chamali Amarakoon, Mrs. Bhagya Samarasinghe, Ms. Gayathri Rathnayake, Ms. Prathibha Kahandage, Ms. Vidarshani Ellepola, Mrs. Lakmini Lochana played a key role as Track Coordinators of the event and, Ms. Ishanka De Silva, Ms. Pamoda Alwis, Ms. Kanjula Gunathilake, Ms. Gayangi Weerakkodi, Ms. Chamila Madushani, Ms. M.K.A. Shanika, Ms. K.A.S.M. Sandarekha,, Ms. K.B.L. Kauslaya supported the former group as Track Co-coordinators. Digital Media and Video Highlights of Academic Session 2021 were covered by Mr. Isuru Priyadarshana and Ms. Janaki Abeysekara.