In ancient Sri Lanka; we had highly technical and well developed irrigation system that could irrigate each and every inch of cultivable land in the island. During that period Sri Lanka was identified as the granary of East. Even though it was so, at that time, the foreign invades from time to time being adversely affected and obstructed, had given rise for the degradation of self-sufficient agricultural life-style. During the period of Portuguese and Dutch, i.e.1505-1658 era, the cumulative development in Agriculture was in negligible situation. According to the history, during the period of 1796-1948 in British Colonization era, considerable attention was drawn to uplift the agricultural lifestyle, it was for the plantation sector rather that subsistence agriculture. At the beginning, Royal Botanical Garden had co-ordinate all these agricultural activities, while these responsibilities were later assigned to the Government Agents.
According to the recommendations made by the commission appointed by the Government at that time, Sir. Mc Milan in 1889, Department of Agriculture was established in 1912 with the objective of research and development of the agriculture and to provide necessary information and consultations. When reminding hundred years path, since itsí inception, the contribution made by the Department for the successive, development in agriculture, subjecting to various changes, was immeasurable. Commencement of Agricultural School registering 72 students on 15.01.1916 was huge step taken by the Department for the agricultural development. Hon. D S Senanayake had also been one of the students of this school.
Subsequent to establishment of main administrative building at Peradeniya in 1926, various other sub divisions were set up in support of these activities. Extension and Training Centre, Seed and Planting material Centre, rice Research, Seed and Plant Protection, Horticultural Research and Development, Progress Monitoring unit, Agro engineering, Socio Economic, Information Technology, Legume and oil crops centre, Fruit Crops Development, Administrative and Finance Division are some of the institution that support the Department in performing Agricultural activities. With the dawn of second century, Department of Agriculture has turned itsí path with dignity towards achieving Excellency in agriculture, sustainable economic resurgence and domestic food security in view of the prosperity of the nation.
The Commemorative stamp issued to mark centenary of the Department of Agriculture depicted the gateway of the Bata-Atha Agro-Techno Park constructed structuring had in had posture symbolizing national co-operative approach and the altruism of the farmer community. It is the world first Agrarian monument and the handwork is indigenous to Sri Lanka.