Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation located between 5°55' and 9°51' N latitude and 79° 42' and 81° 53' E longitude, at the southern tip of the Indian sub continent.
Based on the rainfall pattern, the total land area of 6.6 million ha, is divided in to three major agroclimatic zones: a wet zone, a dry zone, and an intermediate zone sandwiched between the wet and the dry zones.
Sri Lanka's wide variation in precipitation, topography and soil makes it possible to grow a wide range of crops.
The major plantation crops of the country are tea, rubber and coconut.
The total land area under coconut is about 400,000 ha and 70% of the coconut area is within the districts of Kurunegala, Puttalam, Gampaha and Colombo which are popularly known as the ‘coconut triangle’. Pineapple is a crop popularly intercropped with coconut and about 90% of the pineapple in the country is grown within the ‘coconut triangle’.
The total extent of pineapple in Sri Lanka is about 4,750 hectares producing a total of 35,000 mt/year, 70% of which is produced in the Kurunegala and Gampaha districts.
Pineapple production has steadily increased in the country and an 84% increase from the previous year was observed in 1996. Pineapple export increased by 99% in 1996 from the previous year, and our main markets are the USA and the Maldives.
The common variety grown here is ‘Mauritius’, which is a 'Queen'' type with spiny leaves, golden-yellow flesh colour of the fruit with an excellent flavour.
The pineapple fruit is popularly enjoyed in Sri Lanka as fresh fruit by the local consumer.
On the research side, we need to encourage high density planting and intensive management.
Hybrids with favourable combinations of plant and fruit characters are selected.
Some hybridization work has been carried out at RARDEC, Makandura and a few promising lines have been selected.