About Our Founder
A Visionary and a Statesman Elder statesman, administrator, social thinker, speaker and writer, Shri C. Subramaniam was first and foremost a patriot devoted, in pre-independence days to the cause of freedom; and later to the development of the country; and the preservation of its rich cultural heritage.
As a member of the Constituent Assembly, he immensely contributed in shaping the Constitution of India. As a major political administrator for more than four decades, he served as the Minister of Finance and Education at the erstwhile Madras State Legislative Assembly and later at the Union Cabinet. He held several important portfolios as a Union Minister like Planning, Defense, notably Food and Agriculture, Steel and Heavy Industries, and Science and Technology. He also held various significant positions like Chairman of Agriculture Commission; Chairman of Aeronautics Commission; Governor of Maharashtra and President of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan worldwide among others. With his courageous attitude, strategic decision-making abilities and innovative approach; he has left his mark on almost every field of national significance may it be agriculture, finance, science & technology, education, policy-making, steel & heavy industry or national defense.
Among all his significant contributions to our nation-building, he will be gratefully remembered as the Architect of India’s Green Revolution, which transformed the country from a precarious “ship-to-mouth” existence to food surplus nation.
Mr. Subramaniam was awarded with the nation’s highest civilian honor of the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to Green Revolution in India. He is a recipient of Y.B. Chavan Award for National Integration and as well as honors such as the ‘U Thant Peace Award’ and ‘Borlaug Award’ among others.
As a parting gift to his nation on his 90th birthday, he founded the National Agro Foundation (NAF), with the vision to create a prosperous rural India through rural innovations.
The first green revolution was fairly successful in putting the country on a path to self-sufficiency of food by focusing mainly on improving the genetic potential of low yielding varieties to high yielding ones. This was coined as the “Seed to Grain” revolution by Mr. Subramaniam. While analyzing the impact of the first green revolution during the 90’s, he observed that it had certain limitations. He felt that it could not help achieve absolute sustainability in agriculture and had only partially addressed the needs of rural India. He felt that the majority of the Indian farmers comprising mainly the small and marginal farmers were not able to reap the actual benefits of the first green revolution as they were not capable enough to afford and adopt modern agriculture. Farming was increasingly becoming more unsustainable due to changing trends and liberalization. While examining the complexities and the challenges of India’s agricultural sector, Mr. Subramaniam realized what a population rich country like India needs is a second green revolution, which can create a self-sustaining agri-cycle in rural India; for increasing the food output and availability to masses, without adversely affecting the environment. Thus, he founded NAF to revive rural India with prime focus on sustainable agricultural development.
Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam succeeded Mr Subramaniam as the Chairman of NAF Governing Council and he held this post till he became the President of India. The Foundation aims at transforming the direction of the Indian agriculture from “production-oriented” to “market-oriented” or in the words of Mr. Subramanian from ‘seed to grain’ to ‘soil to market’ by developing an integrated & innovative rural development model which can be replicated across India. Since its inception in 2000, NAF as a Public Charitable Trust has adopted a multi-pronged rural development strategy encompassing agricultural development, infusion of technology, comprehensive soil health management, efficient farm management, watershed and natural resource management, lean farming, livestock development, functional literacy, rural sanitation & public health, human resource development, establishment of self-help groups particularly among women, self-employment opportunities, farmers’ federations, farmers’ club and facilitating institutional credit among others to achieve food sovereignty for all and to create a prosperous rural India.
Vision & Mission
What we do
“Achieving better balance between interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development – “Education”, “Economy” , “Environment” & “Empowerment.”
Sustainable development is about recognizing, understanding and acting on interconnections — between the thematic areas of education, economy, environment and empowerment. In pursuit to achieve significant and verifiable outcomes across these cross-cutting thematic areas and to streamline the broad-spectrum interventions NAF has divided the organization into multiple divisions comprising:
Agricultural Development Division
Farm Mechanization, Sustainable Climate Smart Agriculture, Knowledge and Technology Partner, Implementation of Projects, Action Research, etc
Agri-Business Development Division
Formation & Development FPOs, Agri-business trainings, Digitization of FPO Business Operations, FPO Credit & Market Linkages, Rural Entrepreneurship etc.
Watershed Development Division
Natural Resource Management, Watershed Development, Soil and Water Conservation, Climate Change adaptation and mitigation, Promotion of Agro Forestry, Rehabilitation of areas affected by flood disaster, etc.
Training and Capacity Building Division
Training and Capacity building for adoption of Sustainable Agriculture practices, Organic farming, Lean Farming, Climate Smart Agriculture, Agri Clinic and Agri Business training, Agricultural Technology training, Micro Enterprise Development, Awareness programmes, etc.
Social Development Division
Community Mobilization, Financial Inclusion, Livelihoods, Entrepreneurship, Promoting formation and Supporting Self-help Groups, etc.
Laboratory Services Division
Technology and analytical services for food and agriculture development covering soil, food quality & safety analysis, consultancy services, training and academic programs, etc.
Research & Development Division
Undertaking applied R&D in the field of food, agriculture and environment. Facilitating research scholars under various academic programs etc.
NAF has aligned its internal policies; to regional and national policies relating to agriculture, social development, CSR initiatives, water and sanitation and other sustainable development goals. In an effort to tackle various developmental challenges and address the complex issues of various vulnerable communities, NAF has opened up to a more collaborative strategy to bring in all relevant stakeholders and channel partners including the corporates, the government, the communities in implementing various programs for scalability and sustainability.
In order to find effective solutions to the interconnected issues revolving around social, economic and environmental aspects of development, effective and proactive stakeholder engagement is crucial. In order to effectivise the development model, it is imperative to synergize all partners and stakeholders engaged in the process of development
The NAF Advantage – Inclusive, community centric, Bottom up Approach to Comprehensive Rural Development
The challenges and the opportunities of present rural India are bigger than any one Organization/ Government/ NGO / Business organization. Delivering solutions to the increasingly complex challenges of today, require a combination of multiple skills found in multiple organizations. We need to look beyond our own walls to find partners in social innovation in order to achieve scalable and sustainable results. With an aim to ensure prosperity for all NAF is working in collaboration with many esteemed institutes/corporates/partners including:
Partnerships (MoU) with
Working with Govt. agencies:
3,50,000+ rural familes from over 2,100+ villages accross 8 states have benifited from NAF's interventions
NAF is governed by a Trust Board with illustrious leaders from various fields, who help in steering the organization in the right direction of growth. They are aided by the governing council, who provide strategic inputs and other critical services to Board in ensuring the Organization works within the principles of transparency, humanity and respect for all.
The executive team looks after the strategic and operational management of the day to day affairs of the organization with its robust and ever growing team of multi disciplinary professionals and field workers.
The Executive Team
Dr. M.R. Ramasubramaniyan
An excellent agri scientist, with a Ph.D in Agriculture Extension; who has the passion, the scientific know how and the drive to propel the organization into the 21st Century. He has more than 2 decades of diverse and dynamic experience across inter disciplinary areas in agriculture, agri marketing, handholding Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs),Empowering Women Farmers through sustainable Agriculture practices, promotion of farm machinery in agriculture, Promoting sustainable agri based livelihoods and working with diverse communities across the globe He is currently spearheading the National Agro Foundation as Executive Director and overseeing all programs. He is the force behind realizing the Founder’s Vision through his strategic direction, leadership and passionate involvements in all areas of management and program efficacy.
He is an Agriculture professional (Ph.D. in Agriculture, Politics and Public Administration) with over 20 years of vast and dynamic experience and exposure in multi disciplinary and multi sectoral fields relating to Agriculture, Natural Resources Management and Rural Development with focus on WASH Initiatives for over 16 years. He has strongly believed in a multidisciplinary and multi sectoral, holistic approach to reach out to unreached and vulnerable communities.He is currently the Director of National Agro Foundation, while continuing to also manage the administration affairs of the organization as well its training and capacity building initiatives and provide professional consultancy services to various organizations in the Country..
Dr. Kalpana Rajesh
Dr Kalpana Rajesh holds a doctoral degree in Chemistry and has been working in the Foundation since December 2000. Her specialization includes comprehensive soil fertility enhancement for sustainable agriculture, reviving polluted soils through phyto remediation, food safety and laboratory quality management. She is currently the Additional Director of National Agro Foundation and Head of R&D Centre in Chennai
Board of Trustees
Mr. M R Sivaraman IAS (Retd.)
Former Union Revenue Secretary, Govt. Of India
Former Executive Director. International Monetary Fund Former Advisor, UN Security Council
Dr. N G Hegde
Former President and Managing Trustee, BAIF, Pune Trustee and Principal Advisor, BAIF Development Research Foundation Has rich experience in Sustainable Livelihood and Community Development
Brig. R I Raghunathan
SM VSM (Retd.) Highly Decorated army officer with 38 years of service in Indian Army. Recipient of Seva medals from the President of India. Renowned strategist who Has been in the developmental sector for the past 10 years.
Mr. S. Swaminathan
Ex Commercial Manger – Air India Tata Tea nominee Director in the Board of Kanan Devan Plantations Private Limited Vast exposure to social sector projects and NBFCs in India
Mr. S S Rajsekar
A first generation entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in real estate promotion and trade. Has been involved in the area of rural upliftment and social and community development. A proactive Rotarian involved in several socially relevant projects in and around Tamil Nadu.
Governing Council Members
Mr. N. Ravi
Director Of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. Previously, Editor-In-Chief Of ‘The Hindu’
Chairman & Managing Director,Bannari Amman Sugars Ltd., Coimbatore. Leading Industrialist.
Director, California Agriculture Consulting Services, USA.
Honorary Distinguished Professor At Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department Of Space, Govt. Of India.Former Principal Advisor, Confederation Of Indian Industry. Has Co Authored “Vision 2020” With Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.
Formerly With British High Commission Managing International Development Projects.
Vice Chancellor(Ex Officio)
Vice Chancellor, TNAU
Vice Chancellor, Anna University(Ex Officio)
Vice Chancellor, Anna University
Mrs. Hemalatha Ramamani
A Successful Farmer And Educationist
Our Partners and Supporters
Many thanks to our supporters, well wishers and stakeholders who share in our Founder’s dream and support our every effort in reaching out to the underserved and vulnerable communities in rural India.