Agri Minister visits SADP
Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, visited homes in
Weligama, Jayawickramapura in the Southern Province under the
Sustainable Agricultural Development Project (SADP) recently, noting the
progress in both livelihood and quality of life among families enrolled
in the programme.
Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena with CTC
Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Director, Dinesh Dharmadasa
at the SADP homes
SADP is a unique programme under 'Outreach Projects (Guarantee)
Limited', the CSR arm of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, designed to empower
rural villagers living below the poverty line in Sri Lanka. 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.
Speaking on the project, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said,
"Agriculture has always been a major economic force in Sri Lanka, making
a significant contribution to our economy, national food security and
employment. At the same time, agriculture is the livelihood of the
majority in the rural sector and plays a key role in alleviating rural
poverty. Sustainable Agriculture programmes such as SADP strengthen
nation building and rural economic development efforts. Seeing the vast
improvements in the lives of SADP beneficiaries is truly encouraging."
The produce from their home gardens have improved a family's overall
daily nutritional intake with significant increases in protein, vitamin,
calcium and iron intake.
Once families successfully complete these stages and reach
self-sustenance, they graduate from the programme. Post-graduation SADP
officers continue to visit families to ensure the continuity of their
agriculture learning and practices. No cash hand-outs are given to the
families under any stage.
This project is independently appraised on a regular basis by the
global accounting house Ernst & Young chartered accountants as part of
good corporate governance ethic.
SADP PLUS focuses specifically on the Trincomalee and Kilinochchi
Districts where farmers are from previously war-affected areas and have
access to more land than their SADP counterparts in the south.
Therefore, in addition to the programme's home gardening practices, cash
crops such as Maize and Ground Nuts are introduced to them.