• #180, Bharadhwaj Nagar, 7th Street,Varadharajapuram, Chennai - 600 048

CT CHIDAMBARAM
M.Sc (Agriculture),PGDRM, IRMA.,

CT CHIDAMBARAMM.Sc (Agriculture),PGDRM, IRMA., Global Livelihood consultant

A seasoned development professional with over 2 decades of rich experience in agriculture development and value chain management seeks global opportunities  for a symbiotic relationship with a dynamic multicultural International organization.

Professional Synopsis

  • 25 years of humanitarian and development programmme management experience
  • 20 years of Agricultural sector management in India and Afghanistan
  • Have lead Livelihoods initiatives of more than 50 INGOs and UN organizations in Afghanistan for 3 years ( Please visit www.afghanlivelihoods.com) in conflict prone region
  • 8 years experience in Value chain development Have conducted value chain assessment for agricultural products and handicrafts in India, China and Afghanistan
  • An Expert trainer. Have headed state level training centre and have rich experience in Capacity building of project professionals, project functionaries and government staff
  • Worked for improvement of lives and livelihoods of refugees and returnees in Afghanistan for 8 years
  • Extensive experience in post conflict and insecure regions
  • Undertaken consultancy works for Swisscontact, The Bridge Fund US, USAID
  • Hold 2 masters degree – Agricultural marketing management and Rural management (developmental Post graduation)

Skills Set

Agricultural Development: Technical guidance in agriculture and allied fields, extension support, input marketing, output marketing, participatory technology development (PTD) and market research, networking, lobbying, data warehousing

Agricultural marketing: Value chain analysis, capacity building, market exploration, feasibility studies, Rapid market appraisal Livelihood and Food Security: Livelihood management, institutional support, advocacy, developing employable skills, Integrated Food security Phase classification, Response analysis Frame Work

Natural Resources Management: Support and guidance to agriculture, horticulture, agro-forestry, animal husbandry, wasteland management, watershed and pasture land management, community forestry, soil and water conservation etc.

Enterprise Development: SME Techno- economic feasibility studies, business skills development & value addition

Rural Development: Building and developing democratic village institutions such as co-ops, self- help groups, association & community development councils etc., Microfinance, micro planning, rural infrastructure development

Community Mobilization: Organizing rural community in education, health and infrastructure development sectors for improving standard of living, awareness creation on social evils, Social marketing, impact assessment & analysis

Women in Development: Creation of economic opportunities, leadership development, Gender mainstreaming

Knowledge Management: Collection, compilation, analysis, storage and management of sector specific information.

Career Highlights

Relevant Experience for the assignment

Sept 2016 to Dec 2016 with International Organization for Migration (IOM), Erbil, Iraq – Programme Consultant Livelihoods – CRP Livelihoods

Responsibilities

  • Conduct of market assessment and value chain assessment for selected products or services
  • Assessment of Syrian refugees and Host communities for Co-operative action for livelihoods (Green house establishment)
  • Facilitation of establisment of Business and Job placements under private sector promotion

Jan to March 2015 with Afghanistan National Horticultural Development Organisation– Project Manager
Responsibilities

  • Value chain development and commercialisation of improved varieties of Grapes, Apple, Pomgranate, Almond and Appricot
  • Leading teams of horticultural seedling forms under private sector
  • Improve horticultural crop varieties identification and publications

August 09 to Dec 2014 with Agency for Technical Co-operation and Development (ACTED), Afghanistan as Country Co-ordinator (Livelihoods)

Responsibilities as Country Co-ordinator (Livelihoods)

  • To development a national Livelihood policy for ACTED Afghanistan
  • Establishment of Agricultural Co-operatives in 3 districts of Faryab
  • Developed Social water management model and formed 17 water users association and 3 Water users federations
  • To train all the staff in agricultural practices and use of livelihood security approach
  • To dovetail the present programs of ACTED Afghanistan to the new approach using Human Right based concepts
  • To undertake all the activities connected with the development of proposals related to livelihood
  • To create livelihood network of like minded NGOs in Afghanistan
  • To set up a web site (www.afghanlivelihoods.com) for livelihood to serve as a common platform for sharing experiences and good practices
  • To establish virtual library for resource sharing
  • To run an online course on livelihood lessons in vernacular languages and in English
  • To publish Livelihood Newsletter
  • To establish a web site for livelihood information sharing and for networking

June 07 to Oct 07 with The Bridge Fund (TBF) US working in China as Agricultural Co-operative and business development Specialist (USAID Project)

Responsibilities

  • Strengthening the Agri- co-operative management with livelihood activities and micro-lending
  • Preparation of business plan for co-operatives
  • Conducting market surveys and value chain
  • Undertaking feasibility studies
  • Setting up market linkages

Achieved the distinction of forming the first ever Farmers’ Professional co-operative in People Republic of China

April 07 to June 07 with USAID, Afghanistan (ALP/N) as Agricultural Co-operative Development Specialist

Handled the following tasks

  • Capacity building and institutional Strengthening of agricultural Co-operatives
  • Designing agricultural  training programs
  • Assessment of Co-operative and market linkages
  • Strategy formulation for effective managerial functions of co-operative
  • Evaluation and monitoring

The entire tasks assigned for three months short term assignment were completed in two months.

Jul’05-Oct’05 with Aga Khan Development Network, Geneva (work place: Bamyan, Afghanistan) as Rural Development Co-ordinator
Spearheading functions of Rural Development encompassing

  • Agricultural and livestock development and comercialisation
  • Natural resource management &  agricultural development
  • Community mobilization
  • Women mainstreaming in projects
  • Building up village level democratic institutions
  • Promoting Livelihood income generation activities such as poultry farm, Seedling nursery, Kitchen garden, dry fruits preparation, goat and sheep rearing, milch cow rearing, Fruits Processing etc., among rural women groups
  • Enterprise development for linking rural production to domestic and international markets
  • Played a pivotal role in forming 115 Community Development Councils (CDC) in central Afghan Provinces of  Bamyan and Parwan. Developed and submitted group plans for all the 115 CDCs and got the sanction for projects like micro- hydal, Solar electricity, livelihood program, drinking water, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals etc

May’00-Nov’03 with Tractors and Farm equipment Limited (TAFE) as Technical Specialist (Agricultural Research)

  • Responsible for agriculture, horticulture, forestry, Animal husbandry and related content development in English & vernacular languages for web portal: jfarmindia.com (It is a paid web site). Conceptualized revenue models and Auction & reverse auction models for the portal. The revenue model was tested & implemented in the field.

Anchored activities for rendering consultancy services in crop cultivation. Developed agricultural crop information of more than 3000 pages and hosted in the web site

Apr’85-Apr’00 with Tamil Nadu Co-operative Oilseeds Growers’ Federation Ltd, Chennai (TANCOF)

As Head-  Agricultural Training Centre & Farm (April 1998 to April 2000)
Heading operations for capacity building by developing/structuring of training modules, conducting training to farmers, project functionaries, beneficiaries & professionals, NGO personnel, Self-help groups, government officials

  • Maintained close contact with universities for development of customized capacity building programs
  • Efficient Management of the farm and  orchard  for field training and model  farm maintenance
  • Imparted training to 12000 project participants (farmers) and 200 professionals
  • Prepared training manuals for project professionals/functionaries in concert with Agricultural university
  • Distinction of turning around the performance of District farm by mobilizing funds from UNDP, ICAR & Governments.
  • Floated proposal to FAO through Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India for conducting season long Integrated Pest management training and organized Farmers Field Schools (FFS) in India. Developed basic seeds production project plan and implemented it

 As Area Manager (Sept 1995 to March 1998)

Accountable to 100 village level cooperatives with around 40,000 member and seamless implementation of agriculture production enhancement program. Supervised the operation of farmer support system consisting of supply of inputs like fertilizer, pesticides, chemicals, farm equipments etc., at reasonable price and arrangement  of  marketing of farmers produce at remunerative price by value addition by temporal, spatial and form utilities

Successfully

  • Formed Women self help groups in villages which produced clay dolls, wooden articles, grocery, embroidery cloths, sweets preparation etc., to generate income for livelihood
  • Handled procurement & sales of 400 tons of improved groundnut seeds to Govt. of Gujarat.
  • Edited and brought out manual for field staff and farmers
  • Distinction of securing Government Order for production of basic seeds in farmers’ fields itself. (Basic seeds are normally produced in the University farms). Achieved production of highest quantities 90 tons of basic seeds of improved groundnut variety in India.
  • Successfully produced and procured the highest quantity (900 tons) of Oilseeds under Contract Farming system
  • Functioned as a part of the team that prepared & implemented the project for Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The project was aimed at developing self-sufficiency in edible oil sector through technological interventions and by introducing effective extension methods. This is a livelihood improvement program.
  • Entrusted with the additional responsibility of the Plant Manager
  • As head of Integrated Oil processing plant, managed the complete aspects of groundnut processing encompassing management of inventory, material procurement, logistics, & implementation of efficient production schedules.
  • Conceived & developed new process concepts for production optimization and waste elimination.
  • Played pivotal role in the successful modernization of the edible Oil processing complex with the financial assistance of NDDB. Imported chemicals, refined and sold the Edible oil whose recorded worth was Rs 80,000 for Rs one million

As Divisional Officer (Apr’89-Aug’95)/ As  Agricultural Production Officer (Apr’85-Apr’89)

  • Devised & executed business plans for managing the affairs of 50 Village level cooperatives.
  • Implemented the Government funded schemes for development of rural community.
  • Successfully turned around the performance of 22 village level cooperatives and was instrumental in securing an agricultural subsidy of Rs. 3 crores (30 million) from the Govt. of Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Initiated self help group of women in villages with the wives of co-operative members and livelihood income generation activities like sheep, goat buffalo and milch cows were taken up
  • Worked in close coordination with the Area Manager for obtaining finance from the Government of India for project white grub eradication. Developed the field implementation guide & implemented the project.

Involved in NDDB project implementation. Assisted Co-operative development project in Tamil Nadu

Other Work experiences

Oct 18 to  Dec 2018 Economic reintegration Specialist, Nigeria Search for Common Ground

Responsibilities handled: 1. Identification of Child associated with Armed groups 2. Developing socio economic integration plan  3. Implementation of Integration plan  4. Co-ordination with state and non state actors 5.Radio programmes

Aug17 to  Feb  18                         Emergency Co-ordinator , Afghanistan                                  Solidarites International

Responsibilities handled: 1. Consolidation of Humanitarian situation 2. Emergency program response 3. Project Cycle management  4. External communication management

April15 to  March 16                               Area Manager , Afghanistan                                          Norwegian Refugee Council

Responsibilities handled: 1. Programme development 2. Diverse program management 3. Co-ordination with other actors 4. Advocacy 5. Security management 6. Training and mentoring of  workforce 7. Office Administration

Dec 2007 to Jan 2008                                  Country Director, Somalia                                             Relief International

Responsibilities handled:1. Programme planning 2.  Implementation of Education, Livelihoods, health &  WASH

Dec 2006 to April 2007              Facilitator (Equity and Community Capacity development) , India                             UNDP

Responsibilities handled: 1. Strengthening duty bearers (Government) by capacity building and guidance 2. Empowering right holders 3. equity and gender sensitisation 4. Community capacity  building including institution strengthening

May 04 to Jun 05           Executive Director , India   International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (www.iccoa.org)

Responsibilities handled: 1. Facilitation of Training to country wide stake holders of organic agriculture 2. Provision of extension support 3. Consultancy services for production and marketing 4. Documentation and publications 5. Value chain assessment and support to actors

Consultancy works

  • Preparation of Master plan of  Organic agricultural development for Department of Agriculture, Government of Indonesia –  Swiss Contact, Indonesia – Oct 2004
  • Community organization for co-operative formation and marketing plan development – The Bridge Fund, China
  • Livelihood advisory for Syrian refugees in Iraq with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Aug – Dec 2016

Publications

  • Edited & published 3 books on scientific cultivation (one of them prefaced by Dr V.Kurien, Father of Indian Milk revolution)
  • Authored book Titled “ Formation and management of Agricultural Co-operative in China”
  • Authored several articles in regional and national dailies
  • Edited and brought our organizational Newsletters “Manila Madal” (TANCOF Newsletter) and “ICCOA Newsletter”
  • Produced a 35 mm film on groundnut cultivation
  • Blog Spot: thehardlarning.com

Educational Credentials

1997                 Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM) from Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), India

1984                 M.Sc., (Agriculture) from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

1982                 B.Sc., (Agriculture) from Annamalai University, Chidambaram, India

1995                 Diploma in Computer application

Academic Projects

  • Feasibility of organizing a Co-operative Society for Tribals of Hill – ActionaidIndia Project
  • Development of managerial skills of Women Self-Help Groups of Dharmapuri Tamil nadu, India

UNDP online course undergone (December 2007) 1. Basic Security in the Field – Staff Safety, Health, and Welfare 2. Advanced Security in the field 3. UNDP – Orientation 4. Prevention of harassment, sexual harassment and abuse of authority
5. Gender Journey – Thinking out of box 6. Resolving Conflict 7. Communication 8. International Computer Driver License

FAO Online distance learning course undergone (April 2010) 1. Baseline Food Security Assessments 2. Livelihoods Assessment and Analysis 3. Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis 4. Collaboration and advocacy techniques

World Bank e-Institute for Development  Learning (Up to May  2016) 1. Comprehensive disaster risk management frame work 2. Community based disaster risk management 3. Earth quake risk reduction 4. Safer Cities 5. Climate change and disaster risk 6. Gender aspect in disaster recovery and reconstruction 7. Financial strategies for managing the economic impact of natural disasters 8. Disaster damage and reconstruction needs assessment 9. Damage reconstruction needs analysis 10. Risk analysis University of Illinois Online course: Subsistence Marketplace

Norwegian Refugee Council training: Hostile Environment Awareness training

SEEP and Coursera : Online course Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS)

Copenhagen Business School  Online certificate course: Social Entrepreneurship

UNHCR  Course: Urban Refugee Learning Program

MDF Asia conducted course: Result based Management

 

References & Documentation available on request