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Sunday, 26 May 2013

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SADP project to empower rural folk

Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, visited people in Weligama and Jayawickramapura in the Southern Province under the Sustainable Agricultural Development Project (SADP) recently.


From left: Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and CTC Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director, Dinesh Dharmadasa visit SADP homes in Jayawickramapura.

SADP, a program under 'Outreach Projects (Guarantee) Limited', the CSR arm of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, is designed to empower rural villagers living below the poverty line. 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 input based on the commitment of the beneficiaries to rise above poverty.

SADP, launched in 2005 operates in 12 districts.

Minister Abeywardena said, "Sustainable Agriculture programs such as SADP strengthens nation-building and rural economic development. Seeing the vast improvements in the lives of SADP beneficiaries is truly encouraging."

During stage one of SADP, families 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. In stage two, families are introduced to poultry farming. During stage three, families are introduced to goat raring, for milk and other dairy based products and mushroom cultivation.

Once families successfully complete these stages and reach self-sustenance, they graduate from the program. Post-graduation SADP officers visit families to ensure continuity of their agriculture learning and practices. No cash hand-outs are given to the families at any stage.

This project is independently appraised on a regular basis by Chartered Accountants Ernst and Young.

SADP over the years has evolved to meet specific demographic requirements, resulting in hybrids of the original program.

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