“I look forward to contributing to the growth of the organisation, its regional bodies and the global Organic agriculture movement through passion, commitment and teamwork, while amplifying the voice of the peasants and the smallholder family farmers across the world.”
- Founding Member of PGS Organic Council, India
- Founding Board Member - Slow Food India Network
- Current World Board Member – IFOAM - Organics International
- Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 – presented by World Future Council
- Lush Spring Prize 2017 – presented by Ethical Consumer & Lush Cosmetics
- One World Award 2014 – presented by Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH & IFOAM - Organics International
“Having been involved in the field of rural development, working with marginalised communities in India for the past 43 years, and being an Organic farmer myself, I have a deep and empathetic understanding of the plight that the peasants and smallholder family farmers are facing, the world over, today.
Having been instrumental in the genesis and growth of a number of development institutions, peoples’ organisations and networks for more than four decades, and having been both a promoter and practitioner of organic farming for over three decades, I have gained a range of multifaceted experiences, competencies, and leadership skills, which are essential to be part of a team that leads the global organic movement.
In 1990, along with my partner, I co-founded the Timbaktu Collective and established a 32-acre agro-forest habitat and intentional community called “Timbaktu”. It is a non-profit which works at the grassroots, with marginalised people in the drought-prone and ecologically challenged Anantapuramu District in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Collective works in 186 villages, partnering with 24,323 families who are members of 14 community-owned and -managed Cooperatives.
Through various thematic programmes, we have been helping to regenerate and revive the local economy, enhance livelihood opportunities, regain food security and food sovereignty, work on large-scale ecological restoration, ensure financial inclusion of women and the rights of children and people with disabilities, as well as promote producer-own business enterprises of smallholder farmers, agricultural labourers, honey hunters and artisans. We also work in promoting the Dharani Farming and Marketing Cooperative, a member of IFOAM - Organics International. It is a successful business enterprise that procures, processes and markets the organic produce of its members under the brand name ‘Timbaktu Organic’. All the members are certified organic as per the peer-based Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) inspired by IFOAM. In October 2019, I initiated a School of Agriculture, on a 100 acre Biodynamic farm, that offers a two-year experiential learning certificate course to young people of our area in Regenerative Agriculture. It is a residential course covering Permaculture, Organic and Biodynamic principles.
Most importantly, I have profound faith in the value and relevance of organic and life sustaining regenerative agriculture in nourishing our ecosystems, providing healthy food, strengthening the socio-economic status of smallholder family farmers, and promoting equitable and just relationships between farmers, consumers, traders, investors, and public institutions.
I was elected to the World Board of IFOAM - Organics International in 2017, when the OWC was held in India. It has been a phenomenal learning experience for me and I do think my contribution has been good for the organisation. I am honoured to offer my candidacy for elections to the IFOAM - Organics International World Board for a second term – 2020 to 2023.” - Choitresh Kumar Ganguly