Mr Vijay Kumar Thallam
Vice Chair Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), Special Chief Secretary, Govt of Andhra Pradesh
Vijay Thallam is Executive Vice Chairman of the Indian non-profit Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, which focuses on organic agriculture; and an advisor on agriculture and cooperation to the state Government of Andhra Pradesh. After 37 years in government, Thallam took that experience to work with large-scale community mobilization and promotion of livelihoods of rural women, tribal communities and farmers. He served a record 10 years as CEO of the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty in Andhra Pradesh and led the mobilization and empowerment of 11.5 million rural poor women into thrift and credit based self-help groups, so they could move out of poverty. During the past five years, he has led a movement for climate-resilient, community managed natural farming, also known as Zero Budget Natural Farming. In 2020, it was renamed as Andhra Pradesh Community-Managed Natural Farming. Thallam has been appointed as the Vice Chair (Productions) of the Champions Network for the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021.