Details of Speakers

Sri C. Partha Sarathi
Chief Guest
Sri C. Partha Sarathi is a member of the Indian Administrative Service since 1993. He currently holds the post of Agriculture Production Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of the Telangana Secretariat. He is also Vice Chancellor of Sri Konda Lakshman Telangana State Horticultural University. He holds a Masters of Science degree with distinction in Agronomy from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University.

Claude Alvares
Farming as if nature mattered
Claude Alvares is Director of the Organic Farming Association of India, editor of "The Organic Farming Reader" and the "Organic Farming Sourcebook." He was secretary of OFAI for six years. He was also instrumental in setting up the PGS Organic Council and PGS organic certification in the country.

Clea Chandmal
Permaculture Principals & Ethics; Reclaiming Soil - the Forest Floor Way
Clea Chandmal studied biological sciences at University of Cambridge, UK. She did her PDC with Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton and Greg Knibbs in Melbourne in 2008. She currently consults and runs a farm in Goa, implementing good permaculture practices to dramatic effect. She recently gave a TED-x Talk entitled "Permaculture - From Farm to Forest."

Deepika Kundaji
Seed Conservation
Deepika Kundaji, organic gardener and seed saver, has been working since 1994, together with Bernard Declercq, on a land regeneration project called Pebble Garden in Auroville, TN. Working without external inputs - no soil or organic matter from outside, no hired labour and only with small donations from individuals, they have transformed 7 acres of severely eroded land into a vibrant forest, an orchard and seed conservation garden. Deepika conserves 90 traditional varieties of vegetables ideal for home gardens, gives workshops on seed conservation and is the author of "Reviving Vegetable Diversity: a Seed Savers Guide".

Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu
Policy Framework for Dryland Farming
Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu obtained his Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension from the Indian Agricultural Research Institution in New Delhi. He has been the Executive Director of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Secunderabad since 2003. The Centre works with communities and with various partners, in the states of AP, Telangana, Maharashtra and Punjab and with the governments of A.P., Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jharkand to help farmers establish ecologically and economically sustainable models of agriculture and organize themselves to improve their livelihoods and realize their rights.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Ismail
Living Soil; Soil Regeneration Methods
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Ismail is a soil biologist and ecologist. He received his Ph.D. in Zoology at The New College, Chennai. He is Director of the Ecoscience Research Foundation in Chennai. His work centers on techniques for recycling biodegradable waste into fertilizer using local varieties of earthworms, and on soil bioremediation. He is author of "The Earthworm Book".

Dr. Suvarana Chandrappagari
Forests, Bio-Diversity, & Climate Change
Dr. Suvarana Chandrappagari is an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer with experience working in natural resource management (NRM) and water sectors with Government of Andhra Pradesh, India. Her experience in common property resource policy and management and building irrigation infrastructure in impoverished and marginal lands of the disadvantaged sections of the rural communities and tribal communities helped in addressing the land and water based equity issues on a large scale. Similarly, she has experience in working with women Self Help Groups (SHGs), designing strategies with gender perspective in watershed management.

Dr. Vandana Shiva
Permaculture in Indian Agriculture
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, scientist, teacher, environmentalist, author, speaker and social activist. In 1991, Dr. Shiva founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seeds, and to oppose what she calls the colonization of life itself under the intellectual property and patent laws of the World Trade Organization agreement. Dr. Shiva's contributions to gender issues are nationally and internationally recognized. Her book, "Staying Alive" dramatically shifted the perception of Third World women. Dr. Shiva combines the sharp intellectual enquiry with courageous activism. She is equally at ease working with peasants in rural India and teaching in universities worldwide.

Dr. Vithal Rajan
Inauguration of Convergence
Vithal Rajan, Officer, Order of Canada, BA Hons (McGill), PhD (London School of Economics), F.I.N.S, is a Canadian national and OCI. He has worked as a mediator for the Church in Belfast in the 1970s; and later as a member of the founding faculty at the School of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK; as Chair of World Studies, International School of Geneva; as Director, WWF-International, Switzerland; as founding Executive Director, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, Sweden (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize); and as founding Councillor, World Future Council, London, Hamburg and Brussels. In India he served as Senior Faculty, Administrative Staff College of India, Board member of Environment Protection Training Research Institute [EPTRI] of GoI. He was founder-chair of Permaculture Association of India; Deccan Development Society [working for poor rural Dalits in Telangana]; Confederation of Voluntary Associations, Hyderabad [working for communal harmony]; SKS Micro-Finance; and ASP Dalit-Bahujan Cooperatives Federation. He is founder-trustee of AME [Agriculture Man Ecology] India Foundation.Bangalore; and Advisor to Yugantar, an NGO working with GoI on the PURA/RURBAN project in Warangal Dist, Telangana. He is Director, KCP Sugar & Industries Corp, Chennai; and Visionary Lighting & Energy Pvt Ltd.[VLE] Hyderabad [supplying solar-powered LEDs for poor households]. In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for life-long service to humanity.

Gupreet Singh
Changing Trends In Indian Agriculture

KS Gopal
Policy Framework for Dryland farming
Mr. K.S. Gopal Is Director of the Centre for Environment Concerns, Hyderabad. He has three decades of experience in rural development, especially in low rainfall drought prone and was Founder Director of Deccan Development Society. His academic background is an MBA with further specialization in International Trade, was Faculty Member at the Administrative Staff College of India and Scholar in Residence at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He was Member of Central Employment Guarantee Council and Chair of the Committee on Works on Individual Lands in MGNREGS. CEC has innovated first of its kind moisture centric water at the plant root technology that has won two global awards in the first year of its market introduction.

Laxmi Nadendla
Food, Nutrition & Soil
A feminist turned femivore and a post graduate in diametrically opposite fields of finance and nutrition, Laxmi Nandendla has pursued a balance amongst these varied themes in her work. In later years, while working in the field of learning and social difficulties of children, she realised the importance of soil, food and nutrition and the role of humans in this sphere. A chance to interact with permaculture gave her a broader perspective of how to bring a balance in life. And thus continues her mission to "balance".

MV Rama Chandrudu
Water Harvesting
Dr. MV Rama Chandrudu is an expert in natural resource management with a focus on water & watershed management, working directly with communities and partners including NGOs, government agencies, research institutions and donors. He anchored several research studies and published papers on water, watershed, WASH (Water Sanitation & Hygiene) and related themes. He is currently associated with WASSAN Group of Institutions, which is engaged with community based natural resource management programs.

Narsanna Koppula
Permaculture Design
Narsanna Koppulais a permaculture pioneer in India. He was among the first Indians trained by Bill Mollison in the 1980's. He founded Aranya Agricultural Alternatives with his wife, Padma, in 1999. Through Aranya, he works with farmers in Telangana and Andra Pradesh teaching good natural resource management and spreading the message of permaculture. He also teaches permaculture design.

Dr. Praveen Rao Velchala
Water Management - on Irrigated Lands
Dr. Praveen Rao Velchala holds a Ph.D degree in Agronomy with specialization in crop water requirements, micro-irrigation scheduling & fertigation solutions of tropical field and orchard crops, and crop yield - water modeling. He is Dean, Professor, and Head of Agronomy at Jayanshankar Telangana State Agricultural University.

Priya Ramasubban
Lake Regeneration
Priya Ramasubban has over a decade of experience directing, producing, writing and developing programs for media outlets including National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel and PBS. She has shot in 29 countries ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe. She is currently working on her first indie feature film titled 'Chuskit' set in Ladakh, India. In her other avatar she is an activist working towards sustainable rejuvenation of lakes in Bangalore, India.

Prof. K. Purushottam Reddy
Forests, Bio-Diversity, & Climate Change
The son of a farm family, Prof. K. Purushottam Reddy studied at Osmania University and joined the faculty after receiving his Ph.D. in Political Science. He is one of India's preeminent environmentalists. He is the founding President of Citizens Against Pollution (CAP) established in 1985 and based in Hyderabad. He has tirelessly worked for sustainable development including water resource preservation and has fought against nuclear energy, farmer suicide, mechanized slaughterhouses, and industrial pollution through the his writings, the courts, and community action.

Raya Cole
One Acre Farm Design
Raya Cole is the Intern and Volunteer Coordinator for Aranya Agricultural Alternatives. She is an herbalist with a medicinal herbal product business, "Simply Being Botanicals". She has taught wilderness primitive skills and nature awareness. She has developed 2 of her own farms using permaculture principles and done consultancy in USA, Canada, Costa Rica and India.

Rico Zook
Permaculture Design
Rico Zook has degree in Environmental Studies focused on Land Restoration. From 1996 to 2005 he was first co-director and crew foreman for the restoration crew, then land manager at a wilderness community decimated by wildfire in the mountain wilderness of Northern New Mexico. For the past 20 years he has been a Permaculture designer, consultant and instructor working with private individuals, farmers, villagers and local organizations to create culturally and environmentally appropriate life systems in northern New Mexico, India, Cambodia, and places in between. Mr. Zook is a founding member of Permaculture Design International, a firm specializing in ecological design for farm, ranch, homestead, business, community development and organization.

Sagari R Ramdas
Food Sovereignty First
Sagari Ramdas is a veterinary scientist, a member of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India, and learning to be an agro-ecological food farmer. She is a popular educator with social movements in the areas of women and food sovereignty, Adivasis, indigenous resilience and BuenVivir and agro-ecological livestock production in the context of Food Sovereignty and Climate Change, and has published widely on gender, ecological governance and resistance struggles. She is involved in developing a Popular Education Centre in Telangana, India. The Food Sovereignty Alliance (http://foodsovereigntyalliance.wordpress.com/) is a solidarity platform of adivasi, dalit, pastoralist, peasant social movements and co-producers, working towards a common vision of food sovereignty, in defence of our sovereign rights to food and the rights of mother earth.

Sangeeta Khanna
Food, Nutrition & Soil; Native & Uncultivated Foods
Sangeeta Khanna is a trained microbiologist who has worked on Cyanobacteria and their antioxidant content, occurrence of antioxidants and their utility towards human health. She is now a food and nutrition consultant, a blogger, a columnist and a freelance writer. She also develops products for F&B brands and has worked on various healthy chemical free dry snacks and drinks already available in the market. She indulges in gardening, travel, birding and photography and these aspects make her learn more about her work and how everything is correlated in the larger ecosystem. She supports organic farming, native foods, regional cuisines and local and seasonal produce which is directly related to the subjects she works upon. She believes that human nourishment is directly related to the health of the ecosystem, human nutrition is in fact a minuscule part of the ecosystem.

Umendra Dutt
Changing Trends In Indian Agriculture
Formerly a journalist, Umendra Dutt founded Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM) in 2005 based in Jaitu, Punjab. It is a non-profit, civil society action group working on ecological agriculture, environmental health and organic Food.

Uzramma
The Cotton Story
Uzramma , founder of non-profit research centre Dastkar Andhra, has been associated with the cotton textile industry of India since 1989. In 2005 Uzramma founded the Decentralized Cotton Yarn Trust with small-scale units to process cotton to yarn at field locations. She has been a member of policy groups for the handloom industry constituted by the Planning Commission and the Prime Minister's Office.

Vani Murthy
Composting & Kitchen Gardening; Community Mobilisation around Waste Management
Vani Murthy is Bangalore's most active waste management community campaigners and a much recognised face in Malleswaram. She was instrumental in forming the Solid Waste Management Round Table for Bangalore in 2010 which won the Namma Bengaluru award in April 2012, and the Karnataka State Environment award in June 2015. Vani was conferred the Kalasha Award by the Inner Wheel Club of Bangalore West in 2011. She is a composting expert and conducts regular workshops on urban home composting and urban farming. She is a tireless ambassador for recycling, composting and urban farming, spreading the message through youtube, TED, seminars, radio, print media, TV, and she was featured in the Web episode of Season 2 of Satyameva Jayate - The Green Ambassadors.

Anjali RC & Kabir Cariappa
Principles of Bio-dynamic Farming
This farming couple runs Yarroway Farm, located in Mysore District. Anjali & Kabir met while training tribal farmers on applying biodynamic and self-sustaining techniques. Their long-term goal is to empower small-scale farmers with sustainable solutions and implement unique and effective direct market linkages. Anjali quit her job in New York and moved back to India to convert her family farm into a fully sustainable unit. Her 6-acre model farm outside Hyderabad grew a diverse variety of salad friendly crops and the produce was marketed directly to the city clients through a unique “friend a farmer” model. Kabir was born and brought up on Krac-a-Dawna Organic farm run by his parents. He was introduced at age 16 to the biodynamic way of thinking by leading practitioners of the biodynamic community in India. A self-taught farmer, he gained skills through daily experiences on the farm and by observing nature. His strength lies in understanding the soil and energies of a place that make a farm.

Dr. Sai Bhaskar Reddy
Biochar & Soil Environment
Dr. Sai Bhaskar Reddy Nakka is an Environment and Development professional contributing in the areas of climate change, environment, ecology and energy. Mr. Reddy researched and developed biochar for soil fertility and environmental aspects. He has also designed many low-cost efficient biomass stoves.

Rosie Harding & Peter Fernandes
Permaculture Kitchen Gardening & Food Forest
Rosie Harding and Peter Fernandes have regenerated a piece of degraded land in Goa, turning it into an abundant and productive Kitchen Garden and Food Forest, serving as a thriving example of a sustainable and resilient ecosystem. They put it to good use for demonstration & education, and research & development purposes. They are actively involved in awareness and outreach to individuals and organisations who wish to participate in every aspect of local food security. These activities include farmer, market gardener & home gardener support, creation of local market hubs, community garden projects etc.

Sailesh Sharma
Permaculture in Temperate Climates
Sailesh Sharma is Programme Manager at DLR Prerna (www.darjeelingprerna.org) where he works on sustainable agro-ecology with a focus on community based conservation initiatives.He brings experience working with Project SERVE, WWF Darjeeling - working with afforestation and apiary projects in the Darjeeling Hills; SAICON Tea - a consultancy group on organic small farmers' tea; and with Tea Promoters India as Project Manager of Mineral Spring small farmers tea project. He is an accredited organic farming inspector with Institute for Marketecology India. He is understudying with Rico Zook (www.i-permaculture.org) as a permaculture practitioner and trainer.

Raghava
Natural Farming
Raghava has been doing Natural Farming since 1996 at 'Aikanthika', a natural farm located in the central part of Karnataka state. He is a leading Natural Farming consultant and has been inspiring people through farm visits, workshops, internships, as a speaker addressing in various state, national and international level events. He is presently the Treasurer of the Organic Farming Association of India (www.ofai.org). As an extension of Natural Farming, Raghava & his family are homeschooling their children, following alternative health systems, traditional and ancient food systems and creating eco-friendly habitat spaces in 'Aikanthika'

P. Narender Babu
Water Harvesting - Green & Blue water
Mr P. Narender Babu is currently Project Director (Natural Resources Management) in BAIF Development Research Organisation, Pune. He has BE in Civil Engineering from Osmania University and M Tech in Water Resources from JNT University. In the last 23 years, he has been associated with various institutions and agencies comprising grassroots organisations, policy research, implementing agencies, academic, research and funding agencies at National and International level. The core areas of expertise and exposure include the planning, design, monitoring and evaluation of natural resources management programmes with special emphasis on ecosystems, environment, minor irrigation, groundwater and watershed management. His work, teaching and research interests are Integrated natural Resources Management, Results Based Management of development programmes with a focus on Ecosystem governance.

Gopi Sankara
Pathways to Healing: Finding Sustainable Alternatives
Gopi Sankara is a farmer and trustee at Navadarshanam. Over the last 25 years, Navadarshanam has been experimenting and demonstrating sustainable alternatives in energy, buildings, water, farming and rural livelihood within a broader frame of ecological and spiritual regeneration. Navadarshanam also supports a food co-operative with predominantly women members operated by the villagers of Ganganahalli with dual aims of providing sustainably grown, healthier traditional food options for urban consumers and supporting rural livelihoods and rural producers of food. An aerospace engineer from IIT, Gopii was a technologist based in California for over 20 years. While living in California, he left the technology industry to explore his life long passion of growing food and leading a simple life. He worked on farms in the US and formally studied permaculture and sustainable farming practices.

Sajaya Kakaria
Women and Indian Agriculture
Sajaya Kakaria is a social Activist and senior independent journalist and documentary filmmaker. Presently she works as an executive Director of CCC (Caring Citizens' Collective) a not-for- profit, non- commercial organization in Hyderabad, working consistently on the issue of agrarian distress and farmer suicides, to reach and provide continued care and support for families and their children. The CCC aims to build solidarity across the society with caring agendas to enable the most vulnerable to overcome despair and face with confidence the crises that beset their families. The organization also works with women farmers to advocate for their land rights and promote sustainable agricultural practices through hands on trainings at the village level.

Dr. Ganesan Balanchander
Keynote Speaker
Dr. Ganesan Balachander Is the Director of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). He served as Ford Foundation South Asia Representative and Director of the founding Consortium Board (CB) of the CGIAR, which unites 15 global research centres involved in a common endeavor to address poverty, food security, malnutirition, and ecoosystem resilience globally. He also was a direcor of the Biodiversity Conservation Network, a USAID-funded program for promoting conservation of vulnerable ecosystems in Asia and the Pacific. For a decade from the early 90's he worked for a variety of organizations concerned with community-based environmental management and development in Asia and North America.

Sukriti Gupta, Amol Ghag, and Caitlin Marinelli
Education & Sustainability
Sukriti, Caitlin and Amol are co-founders of the Academy for Earth Sustainability (AES), whose mission is to promote the transition to sustainable ways of living in India through collaborative, practical, and hands-on learning experiences. Building upon big ideas, such as permaculture, interdependence, and systems-thinking, AES develops sustainable sites in collaboration with schools and organizations from the local community. The team works passionately to meet people where they are, helping them to understand, embrace, and internalize a commitment to care for the life and land around us. Prior to AES, Sukriti worked as a sustainable designer, supporting the environmental goals of everyone from local nonprofits to top international firms. Caitlin developed and managed community development and education programs, with a focus on poverty alleviation and social justice. Amol ran a reputed wellness consultancy, and has been a life-long organic farmer. Coming together, the three leverage their unique skills and backrounds to enable sustainable development and education.

Naresh Save
Principles of Natural Farming & Perennial Orchards
Naresh Save is the elder son of Bhaskar Save, founder of the Natural Farming Training Centre. Naresh began working with his father at a very young age. He not only witnessed but also actively contributed at every stage of development of 'Kalpavruksha', their farm in Gujarat. Though he has cultivated a wide variety of crops successfully, horticulture is his area of expertise. Nareshji has developed many farms, tried many experiments and has never failed. He offers consultancy in organic / natural farming. He acts as a main trainer for the Natural Farming Training Centre.

Dr. K. Yella Reddy
Water Management of Irrigated Lands
Dr. K.Yella Reddy received his Ph.D. from IIT, Kharagpur in 2002 in Micro Engineering, specializing in water resources development and management. He designed a solar-powered trickle irrigation system in Andhra Pradesh and has worked on other water management projects throughout the region. His farmer-friendly, hydraulically efficient "Semi-Permanent Sprinkler System" was awarded the "Watsave Technology Award" in 2008. He frequently travels abroad giving talks, presenting papers and consulting on water issues. He is Secretary of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), 'Water and Crop' work body. He is on the faculty of Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University and is Director of WALAMTARI, both in Hyderabad.

Y. Subhash Chandra Reddy
Urban Water Harvesting: Lake Regeneration & Rainwater Harvesting
Y. Subhash Chandra Reddy is founder and director of SMARAN, an environmental and developmental organization NGO that has been working in the area of soil and water conservation for the last 15 years in Hyderabad & RR District. The organisation has been involved in the promotion, design and commission of 50 plus rainwater harvesting projects. Subhash Reddy works with small & marginal farmers and agricultural laborers providing them alternative solutions to check their urban migration for employment due to lack of sufficient water resources to support their agricultural livelihood. He executes projects with communities, individuals or organizations willing to harness rain water. Mr. Reddy is also on the Board of Directors of Aranya Agricultural Alternatives.

P. Srinivas Vasu
Rebuilding Soil Health
In. 2006, P. Srinivas Vasu founded SOIL (Sustianble Organic Initiatives for Livelihoods) that campaigns for and promotes living soils. He has worked on rainfed projects with small landholding farming families in villages in Karnataka. He has also provided technical services on organic projects to the Reliance Foundation, We Care Society, Grama Vikas, Greenpeace, ASHA and OFAI.

Ardhendu Sekhar Chatterjee
Permaculture in Wetlands
Ardhendu Sekhar Chatterjee graduated in Commerce from Calcutta University. In the mid-seventies he studied Rural Leadership in Japan. On his return he worked in various aspects of Community Communication and Development. Since the mid-80's he has been working in the field of Sustainable Agriculture with particular focus on the small and marginal farmers in India, as a practitioner and trainer. In the late 80's, he trained in Ecological Farming and Permaculture in Auroville. He has worked as a trainer in various countries of South and SE Asia. He has also written and edited a large number of Booklets and other study materials in Bengali and English.