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Karthikeyan Muniappan
Program Leader , DHAN Foundation
Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu
Agricultural Economist with 24 years experience in leading initiatives on revalorizing millet-based cropping & food systems, rainfed farming, building organisations of poor and community banking. Strengths include participatory research and establishing relevant development. interventions. Looking for consulting, studies, evaluation & faculty opportunities and openings in funding & CSR agencies
Send email Contact Karthikeyan Muniappan
Area of Expertise:
  • Agriculture, Livelihoods, Microfinance, Rural, Urban
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy
  • Environment, Climate, Energy, Water, Sanitation
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research
Professional Experience:
1. Served as Chief Executive of Small Millet Foundation, a division of DHAN Foundation, focusing on mainstreaming small millets in India. Served as lead Principal Investigator of two international consortium research projects on small millets implemented with Canadian and South Asian partners with the support of IDRC and Global Affairs Canada. Led a team on and was instrumental in (i) Identification and adoption of farmers preferred varieties and sustainable agriculture practices, (ii) development and commercialization of millet processing equipment, (iii) commercialization of millet-based food products, (iv) large-scale promotion of household consumption of small millets and v) advocating specific policy support needed for mainstreaming small millets. More details in
2. Promoted community organisations (COs) among poor women, small farmers and tribals, including farmers groups, SHGs, federations and Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs)
3. Undertaken participatory research, including Participatory Varietal Selection, processing equipment development, and evolving crop insurance, savings and credit products
4. Led millet value chain development with FPOs, equipment manufacturers, processors, micro food enterprises and NGOs
5. Served as secretariat of Agricultural Biodiversity Community, an international network working for scaling up people centered, agricultural biodiversity based food systems for two years.
6. Led implementation of rainfed farming interventions with poor farming communities. Served as Team Leader, Project Implementing Agency for Restructured National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas in Natrampalli, Tamil Nadu. Designed and implemented,
a. Location specific land capability enhancement
b. Weather insurance product with ICICI Lombard, for the first time in Tamil Nadu
c. Mutual Crop Income Insurance product for groundnut, for the first time in India
7. Served as Managing Director of Mugavai Vattara Kalanjiam, a women-owned federation on deputation. Designed and implemented community-managed savings products like festival chit and doubling chit, education, electricity and home maintenance loan products, and micro-life and micro-health insurance products.
8. Worked with Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS), Madhya Pradesh, and South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), Kerala, on deputation.
9. Served as insurance expert in an international team for a study on micro-crop insurance in Ethiopia for Oxfam America.
10. Principal author of District Human Development Report for Tiruvannamalai district, prepared in collaboration with Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission and district administration.
11. Consultant to Sir Ratan Tata Trust for DHAN Foundation to strengthen SHG based microfinance initiatives in Rajasthan.
12. Documented eco-friendly farming practices in Tamil Nadu for Other India Press, Goa.
Post graduate in Agricultural Economics from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. Has passed National Eligibility Test of Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board by 1995.
Affiliations and Achievements:
1. Has published i) Book/ Book chapters – 3, ii) Research papers – 12, iii) Policy briefs – 4, iv) Final Project Reports, Outcome stories & Manual-10 and v) International presentations & invited lectures-11
2. Felicitated by Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad, for contribution to development of small millet value chains

Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities

    Years of Experience:
    More than 20 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, Tamil and Hindi
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