1,000 farming families graduate from SADP Plus in Kilinochchi

Friday, 30 January 2015 00:40 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sustainable Agriculture Development Program (SADP), celebrated yet another milestone when 1,000 families from Kilinochchi graduated having completed the program. SADP is the flagship CSR program of Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) which aims towards alleviating poverty, edging Sri Lanka closer to fulfilling its national priority of eradicating poverty. The successful completion of the 30 month program means that families are now able to adequately meet their daily nutrition levels and also able to receive an income from selling any excess produce. Their knowledge on agriculture and land productivity has also greatly improved and the families are now able to sustain their home gardens without the support of SADP Field Officers. Farmer families were registered for SADP Plus in 2012 with the opening of a SADP office in Kilinochci with a Project Manager and five Field Officers. As a program with a strict policy of ‘No Cash Hand-outs’, SADP strongly believes in sustainable agriculture development through knowledge transfer, resource assistance and a paradigm shift in attitude among the rural communities of Sri Lanka. As such, a Field Officer was assigned for every 200 families, who would visit them at least once in 10 days to evaluate their progress. During the 30 month program, a total of 1,534 cluster meetings were held with the participating families by these Field Officers to educate and share best practices in farming. Furthermore, a total of 20,000 vegetables and fruit plants, 16,144 chicks, 266 goats and 100 bee boxes were issued to the families. A selected group of families were also trained and supported in mushroom cultivation. As Kilinochchi is an area situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, SADP also provided families with water buckets and polythene bags to maximise and preserve water needed for farming. This ensured that despite only 12.3% of the families having sufficient water for farming, during severe drought 40% of the families succeeded in sustaining their home gardens. What the SADP beneficiaries all have in common is their ambition to rise above poverty and create sustainable livelihood for their families and themselves. CTC ensures that they provide the knowledge and guidance to accomplish their ambitions. Since the inception of SADP in 2006, the project has evolved at different levels and has four sub categories namely; SADP Plus, SADP Lite, SADP Mega and SADP Ultra. Currently, SADP empowers over 17,400 families with over 67,000 beneficiaries across 16 districts and is considered one of the largest private sector CSR initiatives in Sri Lanka.