The Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management was established in 2003, by re-naming the Department of Agricultural Economics together with the curriculum reforms. The Department offers a comprehensive module of courses for the undergraduates in all aspects of Agricultural Economics and Business Management. The compulsory courses offered by the Department during the programme includes principles of economics, development economics. Agricultural marketing, business creation and management, applied agribusiness, project analysis, macro- and micro- economics, marketing management, resource and environmental economics, quantitative techniques in business and economics, business psychology, research methods for business and economics. In addition, a wide variety of optional courses related to applied economics and business management are offered during the advanced programme. Through the years it has shown a success in many fields such as academic work, research, consultancies etc. the academic staff of the department is also actively engaged in postgraduate teaching, research and advisory work. Consultation and evaluation activities are carried out by individual and team members of the academic staff who have a broad background of experience and training. The members serve as consultants in studies on irrigation, integrated rural development, tree crop etc. for various ministries of the government and international organizations. These studies contribute to the improvement of the national and international development programmes. In addition to these, numerous workshops are organized and presented by the Department through the sponsorship of local and state organizations and agencies. The research programme of the Department is directly concerned with the socio-economic problems of agricultural development. Research activities centre around: Small holder agriculture and food systems; Agricultural Development; Farm management; Farming system; Agricultural systems. Some of the above activities are pursued in collaboration with other Departments in the University of Peradeniya, local government institutions and foreign universities. The computer unit is one of the facilities available in the Department which helps immensely in carrying out academic, research and outreach programmes undertaken by the Department. Academic staff members of the Department have the required experience and education which provides the opportunity for students to gather more knowledge about the field of Agricultural Economics and Business Management. The department also offers postgraduate degree programmes in Business Administration (M.B.A., D.B.A), Agricultural Economics (M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D.), Natural Resources Management (M.Sc.), Environmental Economics (M.Sc.) through the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture.
Dr. Benjamin Schwab is an associate professor of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University and chair of the International Section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Dr. Schwab previously worked as an Associate Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He is visiting the department as a Fulbright Scholar, with the goals of conducting research and establishing a long-term collaborative partnership. During his time here, Dr. Schwab has collaborated with department faculty on ongoing research involving food environments and postharvest issues and has provided workshops on topics such as causal inference. Dr. Schwab is currently working to establish research focusing on the relationship between production expectations and agricultural input decision-making by smallholder farmers.
The 10th Sri Lanka Economic Research Conference (SLERC) of the SLFUE was hosted by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya on January 27-28, 2022 as a hybrid event. Prof. Jeevika Weerahewa was the chairperson of the SLFUE for the year while Dr. Dilini Hemachandra served as the national cordinator.
The theme of the conference is ‘Towards a Green Economy: Opportunities, Challenges, and Way Forward’. The conference was graced by Professor Kapila Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, as the chief guest. Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, a former governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, delivered the keynote speech. The Guest of Honor was Professor Premachandra Athukorala, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Australian National University. Dr. Nimal Sanderatne, a highly respected renowned economist in Sri Lanka, was felicitated at the inaugural session of the 10th SLERC. Dr. Anura Ekanayake delivered a special address at this ceremonial event.
A guest lecture was held on 9th of June 2023 for undergraduate students enrolled in the courses EB2201 Development Economics and EB3209 International Business and Trade. The lecture centered around the pressing issue of Sri Lanka's Sovereign Debt Crisis. Esteemed economist, Professor Prema-chandra Athukorala from the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, delivered this insightful session. Organized by Professor Jeevika Weerahewa, this lecture provided students with a unique opportunity to gain insights from a leading
economist. The discussion focused on the onset and causes of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, while also exploring the interventions made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Additionally, the lecture delved into potential future pathways for the country's economy in the post-crisis era. Throughout the lecture, Professor Athukorala drew on evidence from Sri Lanka to illustrate concepts such as anti-tradable bias and theories on crisis development. By doing so, students gained a comprehensive understanding of the complex economic landscape and its implications for Sri Lanka. The session concluded with a question and answer session, allowing participants to engage directly with Professor Athukorala and address their queries and concerns.