Dr Chinthani Rathnayake
Post doctoral researcher - Theme 5
Chinthani Kumari Rathnayake is a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Agriculture and Food at the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Prof. Bill Malcolm. Currently she is working with Prof. Bill Malcolm and Prof. Deli Chen on the Theme 5 in the ARC Research Hub for Smart Fertilizers. She submitted the PhD recently at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD included analysing a government policy while developing an Equilibrium Displacement Model on the tea industry in Sri Lanka. Her research interests are in policy analysis, farm management agricultural value chains and environment and resource economics. She has published some of her research work in the UNE Australasian Agribusiness journals.
Chinthani’s doctoral research focused on the tea industry in Sri Lanka and impact of the withdrawal of Glyphosate from tea producers’ farm management decision choices. This directly affected weed management; essential in commercial tea cultivation for sustained high yields, quality, and profit. Tea grower groups, regardless of the size of their operation have experienced quantitative and qualitative losses with increasing weeding costs, costs of production and narrowed gross margins as they have substituted for Glyphosate with alternative weed management methods. The ban has also resulted in an unintended consequence, a decline of tea exports in the international tea market. An annual loss of Rs. 3.5 billion on the tea industry was estimated as the direct impact of the Glyphosate ban while the unintended consequence was estimated to have led to a loss of Rs 0.35 billion.