Home | Department  | Department of Agriculture Engineering & Machine Development


Agricultural Engineering and Machinery Development Department is a prominent department of NERD Centre which engaged in engineering research and development in the areas of Agriculture and Postharvest Technology, Food Technology, Traditional Medicine, Bio Medicine Etc. Dedicated professionals in the department are engaged in developing machineries and processes which directly supports the economic growth of the country. They are always ready to give their support for the public who seek technical expertise to solve technological problems they encountered. AE & MD Department collaborate with other institutions to provide best technological solutions. Our researchers investigate into the traditional Sri Lankan engineering practices to discover the scientific principal behind them to introduce sustainable technologies.

Successful Projects

Machinery developed for Food Sector

1. Palmyrah juice extractor

Extracting Palmyrah juice is a labour intensive process and this machine was developed to address above issue.

2. Motorized/Hand operated manioc Slicer

This slicer was developed for cutting fruits and vegetables of desirable shape and size in a short time.


Motorized Manioc Slicer

Hand Operated Manioc Slicer

3. Smoked fish Processing unit

Smoked fish has high consumer demand over salted dried fish and have much potential to develop as small and medium scale industry in Sri Lanka. But, scientific surveys have found that quality of smoked fish products are not in acceptable level. Therefore, Smoked fish processing unit was developed to  minimize Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminations of smoked fish at safe levels.The capacity of the unit is 25-30kg and this is a portable unit which has the facility of supplying heat and smoke separately. Saw dust is used as the fuel for heating/drying and all the foods touching parts are fabricated using food grade stainless steel. Both marine and inland fish can be smoked using this unit and the product can be stored at refrigerated conditions for 2 weeks and at frozen conditions (below -180C) for 3 months.  

4. Pinato Dryer

Pinato dryer is developed for maximum utilization of extracted Palmyrah juice without spoiling.

5. Virgin coconut oil expellers

The NERDC has developed to produce virgin coconut oil without going through the traditional, time-consuming copra process.


Domestic type

Medium size


Hydraulically operated

Continuous Type
6. Saw dust fueled bakery oven

Bakery oven is operated using saw dust, rice husk or LP gas. Advantages of this oven are less initial cost, easy, safe & hygienic operation, less time to reach required temperature compared to traditional ovens and less space requirement.


Machinery developed for Agricultural Sector

1. Pepper Seed Separator

Traditionally, pepper berries are separated by placing the harvested pepper in a gunny or polypropylene bag and treading by foot. It is a high labour consuming and unhygienic method which leads to large amount of wastage as well as to produce low quality products. As a solution to above problems, pepper seed separator was developed in response for a request made by small scale pepper producers in the country.

2. Fertilizer Applicator operated by two wheel tractor

Fertilization of coconut trees is a time consuming and labour intensive process, which has become a problem for coconut estate owners due to unavailability of human labour and no such reliable technology for applying fertilizer. This innovative fertilizer applicator improves efficiency of fertilization process by reducing cost of the fertilization process and increasing the absorption of fertilizer to plants. This applicator is consists with fertilizer-spreading mechanism, feed hopper and the modified rotavator. The modified rotavator provides facilitate for loosen the surface soil and to damage the feeding roots of the palm. Average time taken for application of fertilizer for one palm is two minutes with two labours. According to the field investigation reports, it has been revive that overall saving of cost for fertilization with applicator is about 35%.In this describes design aspects of innovative fertilizer applicator with performance.

3. Compressed solid feed block making machine for dairy industry

hay block making machine is a semi-automatic machine and it makes cattle feed blocks using hay and other required nutrients in hygienic manner. Production capacity of the developed machine is 100 blocks/hr with 200 mm × 200 mm ×110 mm size and 2 kg weight.
These hay blocks can be stored and transported very easily because of their square shape and size. All the ingredients (rice bran, coconut poonac, minerals, etc) can include as per the requirement for these hay blocks with or without molasses. Hay blocks can be made especially in ingredients available seasons and they can be used in the dry season as well as rainy season. These nutrient filled hay blocks directly support to increase milk yield of the cow and ultimately it will support to increase the gross milk production of Sri Lanka.

4. Power Weeder for Paddy fields

In Sri Lanka, rice is the key agricultural product since ancient time. Majority of farmers in Sri Lanka use various traditional methods in controlling weeds. Being in the people of 21st century, and when demand for rice is in rise, farmers need to have high efficient equipments to perform their weed control. At the moment they use manual control, weedicides and hand operated weeders. Those methods are still not technologically advance to cater the requirement. And also these chemical methods (with high arsenic concentrated weedicides) are prohibited by the government due to its hazardous conditions to the environment and the humans. So farmers are intended to change the way of removing weeds by weedicides. Majority of Sri Lankan farmers are still relying on labor to weed rice. However, farmers encounter hardership in weeding their paddy field two times per crop session, since manual labor scarcity and high labor cost. Therefore a high efficient weeder operated by power would be a solution for that problem. In addition to productivity improvement in weed control, the machine can help to increase paddy yield by 15% too [FMRC]. Use of power weeder reduces the intensive labor requirement and saves money spent on manual labor weeding. For eliminating above issues invented the Engine powered weeding unit for raw seeded paddy.

5. Mee Oil Extractor

An apparatus was developed to extract oil from Mee seeds. After drying, seeds were crushed and powdered seeds were then steamed and pressed in the apparatus operated using a hydraulic jack.

6. Rotary Driers

This was developed for drying of scrapped coconut operated using saw dust stoves.


Machinery/ Process developed for Other Sectors

1. Hydraulically operated Compressed soil block making machines

This machine is used to make bricks which are used for construction of walls using cement & soil mixture

2.Machineries for Ayurvedic Sector

According to the requirements of Ayurvedic sector, hydraulic jack operated expeller for extracting herbal juice and separating herbal oil from sludge (Kalka), small scale Guli making machine, Guli polishing machine and dryer for drying of herbal medicine are developed.


Laboratory Analysis

    1. Moisture determination of material
    2. Soluble sugar content of food material
    3. Total oil content
    4. Sieve analysis of particles
    5. Volatile Fatty Acid Content
    6. Total Solid Content
    7. Viscosity

Workshop Facilities

Can provide fabrication facilities for welding, shearing, rolling and bending according to various requirements.

Department of Agriculture Engineering & Machine Development
Department of Civil Engineering
Technology Incubator
Department of Electrical & Electronic
Department of Environmental Services
Department of Energy & Environmental Engineering
Department of Techno Marketing
Department of Mechatronics
Department of Developmenrt and Project
Copyright © 2011 NERDC. All Rights Reserved.
Best viewed on 1024 x 768 . Developed In Association With ICTA.