People

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. 

For LANSA

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. 

For LANSA

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.

For LANSA

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.

For 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.

FOR LANSA

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

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.

FOR LANSA

Nitya provides the cross-cutting gender inputs to the entire 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.

For LANSA

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

PRASHANT LAXMAN DEOKAR

Prashant Laxman Deokar has more than 14 years of experience in the field of Agriculture. He worked as a Subject Matter Specialist (Horticulture) in a Central Government sponsored Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Buldhana and Washim districts of Maharashtra from 2002 to 2009. Here he was actively engaged with assessment, refinement and dissemination of region specifically need based technologies. Prashant holds a PG in Agriculture with specialization in Horticulture from Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth Akola, Maharashtra. His  professional interests cover broad issues of agriculture, horticulture, nutrition and food security along with rural development.

He joined MSSRF, Chennai in 2013, as a Principal Scientist under the Food Security Programme Area. At the Foundation, he worked with MoRD sponsored Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Priyojana till Decmber 2016. 

For LANSA

Prashant is the coordinator of Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) study in Wardha, Maharashtra.

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.

FOR LANSA

Priya Rampal is working on the supply-demand and price trends of pulses including a review of the Pulses Mission by Government of India. The study will have policy relevance, and will contribute to the discussion around the International Year of Pulses 2016.

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

For LANSA

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

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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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