Over the years it has developed to be the premier national Institute in the field of socio-economic research relating to agrarian sector in Sri Lanka and has also developed the requisite skills and infrastructure for providing relevant training to farmers, field workers and managers in both state and non-state sectors. The institute also provides up to date market information to the farmers, traders and policy makers. The name of the Institute was changed to Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute in February 1995.

Vision
Be the leader for generating and disseminating knowledge for sustainable agrarian and rural development

Mission
To strengthen agrarian and rural sector through conducting research and training activities

Goals

  • To make policy process more effective through knowledge generation and timely dissemination;
  • To keep the public informed by providing independent assessments on national policy issues;
  • To strengthen the capacity for socio-economic policy analysis by investing in the capacities of its staff and the institute's knowledge base;
  • To increase the capacity of rural development stakeholders through training;

Objectives

  • Timely dissemination of market information to policy makers, farmers and traders;
  • Identification of agrarian policy perspectives;
  • Research planning-priority setting in agrarian issues;
  • Building relationships with public/private sector organizations, universities and regional & international research institutes/agencies;
  • Engaging a committed, competent and contented team of employees

Strategies

  • Strengthen the Research and Training Committee (RTC);
  • Agree on thematic areas;
  • Ensure uniformity of different types of publications - layout, cover page, pagination, fonts and styles;
  • Improve literature review in preparation of research proposal;
  • Arrange external review after peer review of all research reports before publication;
  • Assign responsibility for each issue of the institute journal to the respective Division;
  • Obtain donor assistance to secure services of a professional editor;
  • Increase research outputs in local languages;
  • Recruit researchers at senior level;
  • Explore possibility of engaging expatriates researchers through the UNDP;
  • Establish linkages with universities;
  • Disseminate research findings at the end of the year colloquium;
  • Introduce measurable performance based evaluation system;
  • Organize faculty development
  • Improve quality of printing of the publications

Activities

  • Collection, analysis and dissemination of market information;
  • Investigation on marketing issues;
  • Analysis on consumer behavior;
  • Evaluation of government development programmes;
  • Impact assessment of agrarian and rural development projects and programmes;
  • Conducting surveys to establish benchmark conditions;
  • Analysis of agricultural policies;
  • Conducting feasibility studies on proposed development projects;
  • Researching on problems related to the input supply and support services;
  • Conducting research on water resources management and irrigated agriculture;
  • Studying environmental and natural resources management issues;
  • Undertaking research on irrigation institutions and institutional policies;
  • Organizing training programmes/workshops/seminars based on national priorities;
  • Meeting outside demands by undertaking training programmes on specific subjects;
  • Providing services of experts for training programmes organized by outside agencies;
  • Improvement of library facilities and audio visual resources;
  • Strengthening use of information technology for dissemination of research findings;
  • Development of skills and competencies of the staff; and
  • Recruitment, evaluation, rotation and promotion of personnel based on competency and individual capabilities;

Organizational Structure

The institute is administrated by a Board of Governors which includes representatives from various Ministries, Development and other Organizations concerned with the development of the rural and agrarian sectors in the country. The Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture serves as the Chairman of the Board. The Board of Governors is responsible for overall policy matters of the institute. The Director acts as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute. The Deputy Director (Research) and the Registrar assist the Director to manage research and training activities and administrative work respectively.

The Board is assisted by a Research and Training Committee in planning and monitoring the research and training programmes of the Institute.  This committee which is chaired by the Director of the Institute includes Deputy Director (Research) and senior researchers of the Institute and persons of eminence from outside the Institute who have distinguished themselves in the management of research and training fields related to agricultural and rural development.  They are all senior scientists drawn from the Universities, the Central Bank and other related Institutions that are engaged in policy related research.

The work of the Institute is organized under Research Divisions, an Administration Division and sub units of Statistics and Data Processing, Programming and Publication.

The research and training activities are organized under five divisions based on current areas of interest. However, the multi-disciplinary research teams selected from various divisions carry out most of the research and training work. The research and training divisions of the institute are given below:

Each division is headed by a Senior Research Officer who is responsible for administrative activities and overall co-ordination of activities of the respective division. Researchers and the supporting staff attached to each division assist the Head of the division to implement the division's annual plan.

Administrative Division headed by the Registrar carries out administrative activities of the institute. In addition, there are two supporting units: 1) Data and Information Management Unit (DIM) Unit and 2) the Publication Unit. The DIM Unit maintains an agricultural data base compiled from various sources in order to provide data under one roof. The institute has a well-equipped library which mainly contains books, periodicals etc… in the field of agrarian development.