Fulfilling its duties as a responsible agribusiness company in the country, Watawala Plantations PLC (CSE: WATA) recently donated a Sap Flow Meter with six sensor units to the Department of Crop Science of University of Peradeniya.
The contribution, which highlights WATA’s ongoing efforts to develop the local agriculture sector and further agriculture education among Sri Lankan students, was worth over Rs. 1.4 million. The unit donated is the only Sap Flow Meter available within the local university system.
The Sap Flow Meter unit was handed over to Prof. Upul Dissanayake, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya and Prof. S. P. Nissanka of Department of Crop Science, the University of Peradeniya by Watawala Plantations Director, Vish Govindasamy and Watawala Plantations and Watawala Dairy Chief Executive Officer, Binesh Pananwala.
The complete unit comprises of sap flow sensors, data logger, interface software, and an internal battery that can be charged with an external solar panel.
The Sap Flow Meter is a self-contained, stand-alone instrument for measuring sap flow or transpiration in plants. Utilising the Heat Ratio Method (HRM) principle, the Sap Flow Meter can measure high, low and reverse flow rates in both small woody stems and roots and large crops including tea, rubber and oil palm.
As the only instrument that can measure zero flow and reverse sap flow rates, the Sap Flow Meter is the most powerful and flexible instrument for the direct measurement of plant water use.
Following the donation, Dr. Mujith Ariyarathne, Head of the Crop Science Department at the University of Peradeniya, conducted a full demonstration of the Sap Flow Meter unit in the presence of university officials, lecturers, students and the representatives of Watawala Plantations.
Watawala Plantations PLC is a diversified agribusiness company in Sri Lanka focusing on palm oil and dairy operations. The company manages a total land extent of over 3,400 Ha in Palm Oil with a workforce of over 1,500 people, which makes it the largest Palm Oil plantation in Sri Lanka with an annual production of 12,000 MT of palm oil.
The company’s dairy farm operation under Watawala Dairy Ltd (WDL), a 100% subsidiary of WATA, manages a herd of 1, 600 dairy cattle with a state-of-the-art milking parlour which can produce over 6 million litres of fresh milk annually.
With a market capitalisation of Rs. 3.7 billion, WATA has the highest market capitalisation among all plantation companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange.