Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme (SADP)
CEYLON TOBACCO COMPANY
Launched in 2006, the Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme (SADP) is a poverty alleviation programme designed to reach out to rural villagers living below the poverty line in lagging regions of Sri Lanka and guide them to achieve self-sustenance by creating a paradigm shift in thinking, imparting knowledge and resources.
The project was conceived in response to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s call to corporates in 2005 to contribute to the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
CTC was given the responsibility of working towards achieving MDG No. 1: Alleviating Poverty.
Working on the philosophy of “helping those who are willing to help themselves”, SADP operates under a strict policy of not providing direct financial assistance. The initiative dispenses the required input – resources and knowledge – for participants to take up home gardening and animal husbandry. SADP is currently one of the largest private sector CSR initiatives in Sri Lanka supporting over 17,400 families; totalling 67,000+ beneficiaries.
Framework & Strategy
CTC has 6 decades of experience working with farmers across the country. SADP was initiated in 2005 as a pilot project and launched as CTC’s flagship CSR programme in 2006 with the target of growing to empower 5,000 families by end 2012.
In 2009, CTC’s CSR Steering Committee set up Outreach Projects (Guarantee) Limited to function as the CSR arm of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC to enable better governance of the Company’s CSR initiatives.
Outreach Projects’ Board of Directors and management oversee SADP’s operations and performance. CTC provides farmers with insights and expertise gained from its core operations and experience working with the agricultural sector.
Since the inception of SADP in 2006, the project has evolved at different intervals to meet changing national priorities.
The novelty of SADP lies in its ability to be transformed as a solution to varying national issues, which has led to the creation of 4 hybrids:
‘SADP Plus’ for beneficiaries in the previously war-affected North and East of the country with large extents of land, ‘SADP Lite’ to rehabilitate ex-combatants and provide them vocational training in agriculture, ‘SADP Mega’, which is a model farm set up in the South of the island to share best practices and ‘SADP Ultra’ to support tobacco farmers to obtain vegetables for their own consumption.
Achievement & Impact
By end 2014, SADP empowered over 17,400 families, totalling 67,002 beneficiaries in 16 out of Sri Lanka’s 24 districts.
An independent review conducted by Ernst & Young in 2014 concluded SADP has resulted in creating a mind shift change amongst beneficiaries and raised overall household income by approximately 48% and nutrition to levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The review also concluded that SADP has met the objectives set at the launch of the project, namely: increasing agricultural knowledge, improving female empowerment, combatting social disharmony, enhancing land utilisation and productivity, and promoting organic farming.
In 2014, CTC’s CSR Steering Committee and Outreach Projects’ Board of Directors made the decision to allocate the necessary funds and resources to sustain SADP till 2017. In addition, the commitment was also made to recruit 500 new families in 2015. The programme’s latest hybrid, ‘SADP Agro-wells’, was created to provide a sustainable solution to over 400 families in Welioya in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka to overcome the droughts experienced by the region’s people on a regular basis. In all, SADP has grown to operate across the country, empowering over 67,000 people, while addressing vital national issues, and will continue to provide solutions to issues that may arise in the future.