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Sustainable Agriculture Development Programme

Helping those willing to help themselves

Our Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme (SADP) in Sri Lanka empowers rural families in tobacco growing areas by giving them the skills, knowledge and resources to become self-sufficient and economically independent.

Ceylon Tobacco - SADP

Sustainable Agriculture Development Programme in Sri Lanka

SADP covers four different stages, with families receiving support over two-and-a-half years from our specially trained field technicians. The first stage teaches the families to maximise the use of their home gardens for organic cultivation of vegetables and other crops. They then concentrate on improving their farming techniques, as well as learning about poultry farming and how to set up ‘farming societies’ to encourage villagers to support each other and share best practice.

The third phase focuses on generating extra income through activities such as rearing animals and growing vegetables for sale, with the final step involving graduation and recognition of the family’s achievements.

For more than 13 years in Sri Lanka, we have worked to enhance food security and empower women in poor rural communities by helping them maximise the use of their home gardens for organic cultivation of vegetables and other food and income sources. This includes teaching agricultural skills, enhancing their knowledge and providing resources such as seeds, plants and poultry, as well as training in beekeeping, mushroom cultivation and goat-rearing. To date, the programme has benefitted over 76,000 individuals in 19,600 families.

One of the beneficiaries, thirty-two-year-old Renuka Rathnayake, explains: “SADP particularly helped us as women, by giving us the skills to be self-sufficient and contribute to the family’s income. The home gardens have brought people in the village together. There’s a sense of cooperation that wasn’t there before – it’s really reawakened our community spirit.”

Through supporting the wider community, not just tobacco farmers, we are helping these areas to continue to prosper and be viable places to live and work.

Since it was introduced, the programme has evolved to meet new challenges in Sri Lanka.

SADP Plus focuses specifically on the Trincomalee and Kilinochchi Districts. In these districts farmers are from war-affected areas and have access to more land than their counterparts in the south. So as well as growing food for their own use, cash crops such as maize and ground nuts are introduced.

SADP Lite was started at the request of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms to help the rehabilitation of 1449 ex-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam combatants. The project was run by the army at the Kandakadu Farm in the Polonnaruwa District and was completed in 2011.

SADP Mega is a 12-acre organic model farm in Sooriyawewa that was set up to share and exchange agricultural expertise and best practices with interested parties in the south of Sri Lanka.

SADP Ultra was launched in 2013 to introduce leaf farmers to better crop management techniques and to promote the growing of other field crops.