Capture market share while still delivering world-class, yet affordable care, is top of mind. With a bombardment of

A simple ceremony was held under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga to mark the 200th anniversary of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga officially unveiled the 200th anniversary logo of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and planted a sapling to mark the 200th anniversary of the Botanical Gardens.

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya has been commended for its 200 years of service to agriculture and forest conservation and a book has been published on the Botanical Gardens’ 200 year mission.

Renowned botanists who have worked at the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens for over two hundred years have brought Sri Lanka’s plant diversity to the world, which has earned Sri Lanka the reputation of being the pearl of Asia.

Minister Ranatunga said that steps will be taken to draw local and international attention to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya.

The Minister pointed out that attracting tourists who are interested in the Peradeniya Royal Botanic Gardens and other botanical gardens to Sri Lanka will create an opportunity to build the country’s economy.

Minister Ranatunga said the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is part of our historical heritage.

“This botanical garden was considered as the royal garden during the reign of King Vikramabahu III from 1747 to 1780. It is said that after that King Rajadhirajasinghe had built a temporary residence in the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens and in 1780 it was declared as the Royal Garden. During the Royal Botanical Gardens, coffee and tea were the mainstays. This botanical garden which started with 40 acres is spread over an area of 147 acres,” he said.

“It was during the tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006 that the Department of National Botanical Gardens was established and necessary steps were taken to secure the Botanical Gardens in this country. The plants that have been listed as endangered due to various reasons and are included in the Red Data List are safe in the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. The Padu Karanda tree which has been the subject of controversy in recent times is also found here. In addition, many of the species listed in the Red Data List, such as dew beral, black currant, mahogany, are safe here,” Minister Ranatunga said.

Experimental methods are also used to propagate the plants included in the Red Data Book. The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens carries out a number of important activities such as research on floriculture, maintaining a collection of plants classified according to taxonomic groups, planting and displaying them in a botanical order, maintaining a collection of ancient plants, maintaining exotic plants and imparting botanical knowledge.

The Peradeniya Botanic Gardens also makes a direct contribution to the field of special businesses such as the conservation of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and the upliftment of agriculture in the country as well as the export of flowers.

Active as the National Herbarium, there are about 180,000 specimens of plants here.

“At present, plans have been approved to build a state-of-the-art laboratory and research centre with genetic engineering facilities. The centre will be constructed at a cost of Rs.250 million and will become a haven for the country and the world in the future. The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens also conducts lectures, workshops and seminars on the study and conservation of biodiversity for various groups. We will continue to develop vocational training opportunities as a life skills programme. There are at present around 5,000 florists island-wide working with the Department of Botanical Gardens. A programme to register more florists will be implemented in the future. We hope to provide financial and marketing facilities to growers by establishing flower and plant stalls in all Botanic Gardens of the Department of National Botanic Gardens,” Minister Ranatunaga said.

“We have data that a large number of local and foreign tourists visit the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens annually. Tourist arrivals were hampered by the Easter Sunday Terror Attacks. Then the global tourism industry collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing a programme to enhance facilities for visitors to Botanical Gardens. Rs. 517 million has been allocated for this purpose with Rs. 177 million of this amount reserved for the development of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens as an attractive place for local and foreign tourists,” he said.