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
  • Farm Mechanization
  • Hot-Water Treatment

Peer-reviewed Journals

  • K.H.D. Abeyrathna, Thilanka Ariyawansha, P.L.A. G Alwis, and N.K.Hettiarachchi, 2021. Design, Development, and testing of a direct driven two-wheel tractor operated two raw metering mechanism for sugarcane fertilizer applications. Rajarata University Journal, 6(1). Read Full Paper
  • Thilanka Ariyawansha, Dimuthu Abeyrathna, Tofael Ahamed, and Ryozo Noguchi. 2020. “Integrated Bagasse Utilization System Based on Hydrothermal Liquefaction in Sugarcane Mills: Theoretical Approach Compared with Present Practices.” Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery.
  • Thilanka Ariyawansha, Dimuthu Abeyrathna, Buddhika Kulasekara, Devananda Pottawela, Dinesh Kodithuwakku, Sandya Ariyawansha, Natasha Sewwandi, WBMAC Bandara, Tofael Ahamed, and Ryozo Noguchi, “A Novel Approach to Minimize Energy Requirements and Maximize Biomass Utilization of the Sugarcane Harvesting System in Sri Lanka”, Energies 2020, 13, 1497. Available online –
  • Thilanka Ariyawansha and Abeyrathna, K.H.D., “Energy Requirements for Base Cutting of Selected Sugarcane Varieties in Sri Lanka”, Journal of Sugarcane Sri Lanka, Volume 01, pp 49-53, 2014. (Peer-reviewed)
    • Abeyrathna, K.H.D., Alwis, P.L.A.G. and Hettiarachchi, N.K., 2021. Evaluation of the performance of power tiller mounted fertilizer applicator on variable application rate. 2nd National Symposium on Agro Technology and Rural Science (NSATRS), June 28, 2021, Institute for Agro Technology and Rural Science, University of Colombo, Weligatte, Hambantota, Sri Lanka. Read more
    • Thilanka Ariyawansha, Dimuthu Abeyrathna, Dinesh Kodituwakku, Tofael Ahamed and Ryozo Noguchi, “Labor and Mechanization Outlook of Sugarcane Harvesting in Sri Lanka”, Conference on Japan Society of Agricultural Informatics, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, May 23-24, 2020.
    • Kumara, M.A.D.S., Abeyrathna, K.H.D. and Weerasooriya, G.V.T.V., 2020. Performance evaluation of four-wheel tractor-mounted disc ratooner in sugarcane crop management; Proceeding of the 12th Annual Research Symposium 2020, Faculty of Agriculture, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. 2020 pp 20.
    • Thilanka Ariyawansha, Abayarathna ,K.H.D., Tofael Ahamed and Ryzo Noguchi, “Theoretical Approach to Comparison of Two Different Bagasse Utilization Systems in Cane Industry”, 7th Asian Conference on Biomass Science (ACBS2019), Koriyama, Japan, Dec 10, 2019.
    • Thilanka Ariyawansha, Ryozo NOGUCHI, Aberathna, K.H.D., Keerthipala, A.P. and Tofael AHAMED, “Dynamic Simulation of Sugar Production Based on Sri Lankan Sugar Sector Development Policy”, The 37th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico USA, July 21-25, 2019.
    • Thilanka Ariyawansha, Wijekoon, W.M.A.K., Abayarathna, K.H.D., Tofael Ahamed and Ryzo Noguchi, “Integration of Parametric 3D Modelling to Optimize the Reversible Disc Moulder for Sugarcane Farming in Sri Lanka”, Conference on Japan Society of Agricultural Informatics, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, 16th -17th May 2018.
    • Kodituwakku, K.A.D., Perera, A.M.M.S. and Abeyrathna, K.H.D., Economic assessment of production of sugarcane seedcane using meristem-cultured plants; Economics publication series 16, Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe, Sri Lanka. 2017
    • Wijewardhana, L.M.J.R., Abeyrathna, K.H.D., Witharama, W.R.G. and Keerthipala, A.P., 2011. Run off water harvesters and Agro-wells for supplementary irrigation of rain fed Sugarcane at Sevanagala in Sri Lanka; A preliminary investigation. Proceeding of the 16th International forestry and environment, University of Sri Jayawardhanapura, Sri Lanka. 2011 pp 27.
    • Abeyrathna, K.H.D., Ariyawansha Thilanka and Ariyawansha, B.D.S.K., Design and Fabrication of a Two-Wheel Tractor-mounted Fertiliser Applicator for Sugarcane Smallholders in Sri Lanka. Proceedings of International Conclave on Sugar Crops: Sweeteners and Green Energy from Sugar Crops: Emerging Technologies. February 15-17, 2014, held at Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow, India. pp183.
    • Thilanka Ariyawansha and Abeyrathna, K.H.D., Analysis of Ridge and Furrow Conversion Efficiency of the Two-Wheel Tractor-Mounted Furrow-Opener in Sri Lanka Sugarcane Fields. Proceedings of International Conclave on Sugar Crops: Sweeteners and Green Energy from Sugar Crops: Emerging Technologies. February 15-17, 2014, held at Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow, India. pp182.
    • Alwis, P.L.A.G., Abeyrathna, K.H.D., Premasiri, L.W.S. and Plliyaguru, P., 2004. Designing and development of low cost mounted type single leg sub-soiler. Proceeding of the 9th Annual forestry and environment, University of Sri Jayawardhanapura, Sri Lanka. 2004 pp 51-52
  • M.Phil. Farm Machinery, University of Ruhuna, 2021
  • B.Sc. Agriculture (Special In Agricultural Engineering), 2003
  • Member of the National Committee on Agricultural Machinery and Equipment of Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy
  • Associate Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of  Agriculture