CTC em­pow­ers over 16,000 fam­i­lies through SADP

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - BUSINESS NEWS -

Two hun­dred fam­i­lies in the vil­lage of Bo­rala in Weligama, in the South­ern Prov­ince of Sri Lanka were en­rolled in Cey­lon To­bacco Com­pany’s flag­ship CSR ini­tia­tive, the Sus­tain­able Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (SADP) re­cently. SADP is a unique ef­fort by the com­pany, de­signed to em­power ru­ral vil­lagers liv­ing be­low the poverty line in Sri Lanka through home gar­den­ing.

The new ben­e­fi­cia­ries were in­ducted to the pro­gramme by Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture Mahinda Yapa Abey­war­dena, tak­ing the to­tal num­ber of fam­i­lies en­rolled in SADP in Weligama up to 600.

Work­ing on the phi­los­o­phy of “help­ing those who are will­ing to help them­selves”, some of the salient fea­tures of SADP are vol­un­tary regis­tra­tion, no cash hand­outs and the in­cre­ment of re­sources based on the com­mit­ment of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries to rise above poverty.

Speak­ing on the pro­ject, Min­is­ter Abey­war­dena said, “SADP is truly an in­spir­ing pro­gramme that has dis­played re­mark­able re­sults in a very short span of time. It’s one of the most suc­cess­ful sus­tain­able liveli­hood de­vel­op­ment mod­els in the coun­try, align­ing it­self to the govern­ment’s pri­or­i­ties such as ‘Api wawamu Rata Nagamu’ and ‘Divi Naguma’ pro­grammes. Agri­cul­ture is a ma­jor eco­nomic force in Sri Lanka that makes a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to our econ­omy, national food se­cu­rity and em­ploy­ment. See­ing the vast im­prove­ments in the lives of SADP ben­e­fi­cia­ries is truly en­cour­ag­ing.”

SADP, launched in 2005 op­er­ates in to­tal to­day in 14 dis­tricts in Sri Lanka. The pro­gramme’s ben­e­fi­cia­ries across the coun­try cur­rently ex­ceed 16,000 fam­i­lies, of which in­di­vid­u­ally over 64,300 are en­rolled. Since its in­cep­tion, over 8,071 fam­i­lies have suc­cess­fully grad­u­ated from the pro­gramme.

An in­de­pen­dent study on SADP re­vealed a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in a fam­ily’s daily nu­tri­tional in­take af­ter join­ing the pro­gramme with a con­sid­er­able in­take in­crease in pro­tein, vi­ta­mins, cal­cium and iron. The re­sults also re­vealed that a grad­u­ate fam­ily will earn an ad­di­tional in­come of over Rs. 14,000 per month as a re­sult of SADP.

The newly en­rolled fam­i­lies in Weligama will be in­tro­duced to home gar­den­ing and an­i­mal hus­bandry dur­ing a pe­riod of 30 months, as means to im­prove their liveli­hoods and nu­tri­tion lev­els. The pro­gramme over the months will em­power women in fam­i­lies, en­rich the en­vi­ron­ment and en­cour­age max­i­mum land uti­liza­tion.

Un­der the SADP model, ben­e­fi­cia­ries are reg­is­tered and taught to de­velop their own pa­ram­e­ter fenc­ing, com­post pits, ed­u­cated about veg­etable and fruit cul­ti­va­tion and handed plants and seeds to be­gin their own home gar­dens un­der the first stage. Dur­ing stage two, fam­i­lies are in­tro­duced to poul­try farm­ing, adding eggs – a much needed source of pro­tein, to their daily meals. Stage three sees them in­tro­duced to goat rar­ing, for milk and other dairy based prod­ucts. Here, fam­i­lies are also ex­posed to mushroom cul­ti­va­tion as a com­mer­cial crop, to in­crease their in­come. Once fam­i­lies suc­cess­fully com­plete th­ese stages and reach self-sus­te­nance, they will grad­u­ate from the pro­gramme.

Spe­cially trained SADP of­fi­cers will mon­i­tor, ad­vice and guide fam­i­lies through the pro­gramme’s two and a half year du­ra­tion.

Ben­e­fi­cia­ries ex­plain­ing their progress re­ports to the Min­is­ter

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