Dr. Upul Subasinghe has been grated 1.1 M for Sandalwood Research by National Research Council in December 2011

Recognising the value of sandalwood research conducted in Sri Lanka by Dr. Upul Subasinghe, the National Research Council has granted him Rs. 1.1 M for further sandalwood research in 2011. Dr. Subasinghe will conduct this research project with the collaboration of Mr. Dhanushka Hettiarachchi of the Wescorp Sandalwood Pty Ltd in Western Australia and Prof. John Fox of the University of Curtin Technology, Australia.

“There is a growing potential in investing sandalwood plantations in Sri Lanka by the public and also the income of the villagers in the areas where sandalwood can successfully be grown can be enhanced by supporting them to plant and maintain sandalwood in their homegardens” says Dr. Subasinghe. He further added that most of the villagers in Sri Lanka are not aware of the value of sandalwood and therefore they use this valuable tree for even their roofing constructions and as handles for agricultural tools.

Dr. Subasinghe and his team has successfully conducted preliminary research on sandalwood in Sri Lanka and published the findings in different journals such as proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sandalwood Research Newsletter etc. They have already worked on oil quality variation between regions and within trees and the different nursery techniques that are essential to establish successful plantations. As a key finding, they have identified the sandalwood trees producing oil over 6% in Sri Lanka which is highly unusual.

With the National Research Council research grant, Dr. Subasinghe and his team will look into the oil variation, sapwood heartwood variation and growth variation of sandalwood in different agro-climatic regions. This study will further investigate the effect of different natural host species on oil quality and quantity.

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