Climate and Agriculture

Farmers and plantation managers are reliant on weather and climate patterns. The specific ways in which such information is needed by the farmers has to be investigated on a case by case basis. Here, we report on the climate impacts on rice and coconut production and the prediction of crop production.

Partners Status Next Steps
Climate and Rice Production in Sri Lanka

Identify climatic relationships with and rice production to assist with planning and forecasting

S. Somasundera, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Ruvini Perera, IRI
A relationship between the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Indian ocean Dipole phenomenon and rice production was established.

Publication of relationship with Indian Ocean Dipole and Rice Production
Adaptation and Impact Assessment to Climate Change of Plantation Agriculture in Sri Lanka (START funded, 2002-2004)

(1) Develop Capacity for Climate Change Analysis

(2) Undertake Impact Studies

(3) Undertake Vulnerability Studies

(4) Propose Adaptation Measures

Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology (DoM), Tea Research Institute (TRI), Coconut Research Institute (CRI) and University of Peradeniya.

Quality Control of Climate Data Completed. Mapping of Sri Lanka Climatology Completed. Climate Change Projections based on trends completed, Crop-Climate Studies in Coconut Sector Undertaken with Dr. Sarath Peiris (CRI) on his visit to IRI and provisionally accepted for publication. Final report completed
Publication of Papers.



  • December 2005: Sarath Peiris, James Hansen and Lareef Zubair, Use of Seasonal Climate Information to Predict Coconut Production in Sri Lanka, International Journal of Climatology, provisionally accepted.
  • December 2004: Sarath Peiris, Lareef Zubair and C.H. Piyasiri, Forecasting National Coconut Production - A Novel Approach, International Sri Lankan Statistical Conference, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 28 – 30
  • December 2004.
    February 2002: ENSO influences on Rice Production in Sri Lanka, International Journal of Climatology. 22 (2):249-260
  • July 2004: Empowering the Vulnerable, TIEMPO, 52:3-6, University of East Anglia, UK, Also, highlighted in as “Communities facing climate change need local science.”
  • May 2004: Was the bumper rice harvest for 2002/03 Maha due to El Nino? Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka.
  • Apr 2004: Towards Developing Weather and Climate Prediction for Sri Lanka, Journal of the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka, XXXVII, 2:53-58.
  • September 2003: Saving Weather Data , TIEMPO, 49:16-22, University of East Anglia, UK.
  • May 2002: Development of Meteorology in Sri Lanka, Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. 15(2):14-18.

Conference Papers

  • November 2004: Lareef Zubair with Upamala Tennakoon and Manjula Siriwardhana, Climate Change Assessments for Sri Lanka from Quality Evaluated Data, International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Changing Environment of the Monsoon Region, United Nations University, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • December 2002: with Heli Bulathsinhala, Quality Evaluation of Mean
    Historical Temperature Data in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, 58th Annual Sessions, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka.


  • June 2005: Lareef Zubair (PI), Kusalika Ariyaratne, Irugal Bandara, Heli Bulathsinhala,Janaki Chandimala, M.R.A. Siraj, Manjula Siriwardhana and Upamala Tennakoon, Current Climate and Climate Change Assessments for Coconut and Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka, AIACC/FECT report, Submitted to IRI.