The Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI) is a statutory body established by the Act of Parliament no. 75 of 1981 (ratified on 29 December 1981), for conducting research on cultivation and processing of sugarcane to cater to technical and technological needs for the development of the sugar industry of Sri Lanka, which, until 1981 was undertaken by the Research and Development Division of the Sri Lanka Sugar Corporation (SLSC).

The Institute was formally inaugurated on 29th April 1983 by then Minister of Agricultural Development and Research, Hon. GaminiJayasuriya. The SRI has been functioning as an independent institution since 1st January 1984 under the purview of several ministries, initially, under the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Research, and later, under the Ministries of Plantation Industries, Cooperatives, Supplementary Plantation Crop Development, Minor Export Crop Promotion andthe Ministry of Sugar Industry Development. Presently, SRI is under the purview of the Ministry of Plantation Industries.

At present, the SRI has several major programs of work, and conducts these through its sub stations, centres and laboratories. The institute’s main research complex is located at Uda Walawe. There is a liaison office at Battaramulla. In addition, there is a quarantine farm at Hantane, an arrowing station at Deniyaya and a pathology farm at Siyabalanduwa. There are four regional offices at Buttala, Siyabalanduwa, Badulla, and Hingurana where Development Officers have been posted to carryout dissemination of knowledge and technologies. In addition field offices have been established at Kantale and Kilinochchi to undertake activities for revitalisation of sugarcane industry in those areas.