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Equator Initiative Case Study - Community Development Centre (CDC) of Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka’s Community Development Centre (CDC) has worked to improve rural livelihoods through conservation of indigenous tuber varieties using seed banks managed by women-led self-help groups. Local technologies are used for seed production, with training on in-situ conservation of native varieties on individual land parcels. These self-help cooperatives are organized into federations of around five or six groups, each of which maintains a revolving credit fund to stimulate livelihoods diversification.
CDC has provided more than 300 families with an alternative income source and a viable food security solution. Monthly net profits from yam sales are roughly 5,000 Sri Lankan rupees per family, an improvement from 3,000 Sri Lankan rupees before the project began. Many farmers have also expanded into value-added secondary processing, and the production and sale of yam chips, yam sweets, and roti. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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