Mechanization Technology

The Mechanization Technology (MT) division of the Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI) is responsible for the use of practical applications of science to the cane sugar industry for maximizing the industry’s and farmer’s profit in a sustainable way. The research activities of the MT division are designed based on the Nine-Event System (9ES) approach. The 9ES approach covers the three main areas that are essential to technologize the sugar industry in Sri Lanka. Those three areas are 1. Mechanization, 2. Cradle-to-gate energy and material analysis 3. Automation, Smart control, and decision support.

Other than the main research activities, the MT division is responsible for supporting other research activities of the SRI by providing engineering solutions to overcome practical barriers. Those research projects are conducted as research service projects.


Integration of smart farming system technology and energy optimization strategies to reduce the cost of sugar production by 25% within the next 10 years.


  • To increase the farm mechanization level up to 70%
  • To optimize the energy use in cane and sugar production
  • To integrate a data-driven decision-making framework


Priority areas

  • Farm machinery design and development
  • Farm machinery testing and evaluation
  • Automation system development
  • Energy auditing, material balance, lifecycle analysis, sustainability, and circular economy 
  • Data engineering, Data science, and Discission support  
  • UAV technology

Current Research

Currently there are two main research projects is progressing under in MT division for 

MT/01/22: Operational evaluation and energy efficiency improvement of Hot Water Treatment (HWT) plant operates at different sugar industries and SRI

Heat therapy has been identified as on of the most efficient and economical methods of eliminating pathogens causing most of the important sugarcane diseases; smut, leaf scald, and white leaf disease. According to the SRI recommendation, seedcane has to be treated in hot water at 540C for 50 minutes to eliminate those diseases. The temperature-time combination used is critical for the successful elimination of the pathogens of the diseases.

Objectives and targets

Design construction and/or modifications of hot-water treatment plants to maintain the recommended temperature for the required duration to eliminate the major sugarcane disease-causing pathogens.

MT/02/22: Application of system approach concept to the Appropriate Mechanization, Energy Optimization, and Smart Agriculture (AMEOSA) for improving the productivity of Sugarcane farming.

At present in Sri Lanka sugarcane growers do not have a well-established system for practice either appropriate mechanization, Energy optimization, and Smart agriculture. Therefore, there is an urgent need to study the present system carefully industry-wise with help of stakeholders. Then after studying the system, we can propose a system approach concept for implement Appropriate Mechanization with Energy Optimization for establishing a Smart Farming (AMEOSA) system in Sri Lanka. Formerly we trust that with help of the AMEOSA system approach, there is a possibility to produce quality sugarcane at low cost while maximizing framer profit in a timely. Therefore, objectives of this project are presented as follows,   


  • To identify the system diversity of each industry system in Sri Lanka from planting to factory gate
  • To develop /introduce appropriate machinery/ implements for sugarcane cultivation each system
  • To optimize energy use for mechanization
  • To collect real-time data with help of IoT and spatial data with help of UAVs
  • To introduce system dynamic integrated to IoT system for continually monitor the system




Mr. K.H.D. Abeyrathna

Research Officer-In-Charge