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Dhanesha Nanayakkara #WomeninScience

Dhanesha Nanayakkara's research involves phenotyping bacterial blight at the Regional Rice Research and Development Institute in Bombuwala, Sri Lanka

What excites you about your research?

With the highly growing population rate, there's a high demand for food to feed the whole world. To fulfill this requirement, the production needs to be enhanced and enriched with the important properties (eg:- Vitamin A enriched). However, due to biotic and abiotic unfavorable conditions, crop productions seasonally face many disease and pest outbreaks worldwide. This results in a massive loss in both terms of quality and quantity. Crop improvement has therefore obtained the spotlight of all plant scientists. This motivated me to wake up the scientist within me and to contribute myself in developing resistant/ tolerant crop varieties to ensure a hunger-free tomorrow.

What challenges have you faced?

The main challenges that I have faced are limited experimental fields, scarcity of government support and poor connection between the researchers and the farmers. These limitations have been resulted in a rough pathway to conduct the research work and in the dissemination of knowledge.

What would you say to women and girls interested in this research area?

I would like to say to the new generation of science, do your best on whatever you do, have faith in you, never give up, work hard until you get a result. And work for your motherland.