Department of

Short course in Plant Breeding Techniques

Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the genetics of plants for the benefit of humankind. It can be achieved through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complicated tissue culture and molecular techniques. Plant breeding has been practiced for thousands of years since the beginning of human civilization. It is now practiced worldwide by individuals such as gardeners and farmers, or by professional plant breeders attached to government institutions, universities, crop-specific industry associations or research centers. Today even a nurseryman needs to understand plant breeding and selection; and to this end, learning about plant breeding techniques is very valuable for anyone working in the modern plant industry. Plant breeding is a bigger industry than most people realize. In some places, earnings from plant breeding rights can equal or exceed earnings from producing plants.

However, there are limited programs available to disseminate the knowledge and skills on plant breeding techniques in Sri Lanka. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop programs to cater the people those who are interested in learning plant breeding techniques to be applied in research institutes, private industries or as horticulturists, gardeners and farmers.

The short course on plant breeding techniques has designed to help the participants to get the comprehensive knowledge with hands on experience on plant breeding techniques related to crop and ornamental plants.

Course objectives:
The objectives of this short course are to,
 Acquaint participants with the commercial and scientific nature of the modern
plant breeding industry, on a global basis
 Familiarize the participants with techniques involved in plant breeding with
special reference to crop improvement and new cultivar development.
 Inspire the participants to pursue employment opportunities in the area of plant
breeding (self employment or in industries) and to assist in career development of
those who are already employed in research institute and laboratories undertaking
crop improvement and variety development of crop and ornamental plants.

Target group:
 Those who wish to employ in agricultural institutes/industries, nurseries where plant
breeding techniques are directly involved.
 Those who are already employed in different plant industries and need to refresh
and/or improve their knowledge in techniques applied in breeding plants.
 Those who want to acquire skills and knowledge in the field of plant breeding and
begin nurseries, farms, laboratories or industries.


Course design

The Short Course will consist of

  • 24 hrs Lectures,
  • 15 hrs Laboratory classes and
  • three fieldvisits to HORDI, Gannoruwa, Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya, RRDI, Batalagoda and
    Dept. of Agriculture accredited Plant nursary.

Those who have,

Passes in Advanced Level Biology/Botany/Agriculture/Bio-System Technology or one year
experience in the relevant field

can apply for this short course.

Applications starting date  21st February 2023
Applications closing date 31st October 2023
Programme commencing date 03 rd December 2023

Rs: 17,500.00

Limited number of partial sponsorships are available for early registrants.

Regulations for Diploma in Plant Breeding

Course Development and Delivery:

The Department of Botany, Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala will coordinate the course.
The course will be conducted face to face with the use of printed course material. The lectures
will be conducted by the academics in the Sri Lankan Universities, research scientists
involved in plant breeding activities.
The course will be self financed and run as a CERC project.


Certificate of Completion will be awarded by the Department of Botany, Open University of
Sri Lanka to those who have successfully completed (fulfilled 80% attendance) the short

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Contact Details

Senior Professor S.R.Weerakoon,

Department of Botany,

The Open University of Sri Lanka,

Nawala, Nugegoda.


Contact No: 0714933922

Contact Programme Coordinator