We have a dynamic team of experienced people in LANSA, and an impressive, and influential advisory group

Akshaya Kumar

Akshaya KumarAkshaya Kumar has a Masters in Sustainable Development from Sikkim Manipal University, Gangtok. He has worked with MSSRF, Orissa, since 2001 in the areas of biodiversity conservation, food, nutrition and health security and participatory livelihood improvement. He has experience and understanding of pro-nutrition agriculture interventions, knowledge and experience of participatory assessments, training methodologies, ICT tools and documentation skills. 


Akshaya is a Senior Scientist, working exclusively on LANSA research and coordinates the Farming System for Nutrition initiative in Koraput district, Orissa.

Aliza Pradhan

Aliza Pradhan, an agronomist by profession, has five years experience of working in sustainable management of agro-ecological resources for tribal societies in India. She holds a PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA. Her research interest includes developing and validating location specific agricultural production systems in an area for sustainable crop intensification. 


Aliza is the coordinator of Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) study in Koraput, Odisha and Wardha, Maharashtra.

Bhavani RV

RV BhavaniA doctorate in Economics from the University of Madras, with an MPhil in Planning & Development from IIT Bombay, Bhavani RV has been working since 2000 on food and livelihood security issues at MSSRF.  As Director of Food Security, she coordinated research and field projects, initiating MSSRF's work in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra state in 2006. Between 2004 and 2006, Bhavani was on deputation as ‘Officer on Special Duty’ with the National Commission on Farmers, constituted by the government of India. Before working for MSSRF, Bhavani worked for the State Bank of India.


Bhavani is Project Manager.    

MS Swaminathan

Picture of Professor MS SwaminathanProfessor MS Swaminathan has been acclaimed by the TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century and one of only three from India. He has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as “the Father of Economic Ecology” and by Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary General of the United Nations, as “a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction”. 

Using proceeds from the World Food Prize in 1988, Professor MS Swaminathan set up MSSRF, the lead organisation behind LANSA.


Professor Swaminathan provides strategic guidance from an external perspective via LANSA's Consortium Advisory Group.

Nithya D J

Nithya D J is a Nutritionist at MSSRF with a doctorate degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. She has worked as Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology and Agricultural Engineering College in the field of Food Processing and Technology. Nithya has experience of training potential women entrepreneurs on value addition.


Nithya is responsible for the nutrition status monitoring surveys and nutrition education at various levels under LANSA in India.  

Nitya Rao

Professor of Gender and Development at the School of International Development, UEA, Nitya Rao has almost 30 years’ experience as a researcher, teacher, field-level practitioner and social activist, focusing on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Nitya has worked on research projects and published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and books. Her book, "Good women do not inherit Land" was republished in 2012.

Nitya has worked with UN agencies, bilateral donors and NGOs. She was a member of UN Women’s Expert Group on economic agency and land rights and co-chair of the Global Advisory Committee of the UN Girls Education Initiative.


Nitya provides the cross-cutting gender inputs to programme.

Prakash Shetty

Prakash ShettyPrakash Shetty has extensive experience in the area of public health nutrition. He is Professor of Public Health Nutrition, University of Southampton Medical School, UK, Honorary Research Professor, Oxford Brookes University, UK and Emeritus Professor of Physiology & Nutrition, St John’s Medical College, Bangalore. He served as Chief of Nutrition Planning Assessment & Evaluation in the Food & Nutrition Division of FAO, Rome (2001-05), and has been a consultant to the UN and other international organisations.


As CEO, Prakash provides vision, leadership and strategic direction to LANSA. He oversees research, capacity strengthening, communications, finance and monitoring and evaluation. 

Priya Rampal

Priya Rampal is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the MSSRF, Chennai. She is completing her PhD from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai. Her thesis focuses on the nutritional status of children, specifically, the importance early childhood nutrition in later outcomes such as health, education and work participation. Previously, Priya worked on agriculture and livestock insurance at a research centre in Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai, involving qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis along with extensive field work. Her M.Phil thesis focuses on changing food consumption patterns.


Priya works on the supply-demand and price trends of pulses including a review of the Pulses Mission of Government of India. 

Raju S

Raju S holds a postgraduate degree in Economics. Prior to working with MSSRF, he worked for six years as a Project Associate at Madras School of Economics. He is trained in statistical packages for data analysis, and in decoding and processing unit record data of the National Sample Survey Organisation


Raju is a Senior Research Fellow responsible for the management of all primary data generated under LANSA in India. He also assists in secondary data research.

Rohit Parasar

Rohit Parasar is Researcher with a Master degree in Economics from Madras School of Economics, Chennai. His interest is in studying agricultural linkages with formal markets and value chain. Rohit has completed his Master’s dissertation in Analysing a Farmers’ Producer Organisation in Rajasthan.


Rohit is Senior Research Fellow at MSSRF working on analysing nutrition and value chain with secondary data analysis.


South Asia Focus

Funded by UK DFID

This research has been funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies



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