About Us

SAPLING's prime goal is to enable the adoption of a 'food systems' approach to address malnutrition in SAPLING priority countries, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

SAPLING Introduction Video


Our Vision

Develop and synthesise useful evidence on food systems, bring greater visibility to common challenges, facilitate knowledge exchange and learning, promote evidence and best practices and support policy leadership at the regional and national levels.

Our Mission

To establish a regional platform for consensus building among various stakeholders for mainstreaming evidence-based policy, action and leadership to combat malnutrition in line with policymakers' needs and priorities through a whole-of-systems approach.


Our Steering Committee


Dr. M. A. Sattar Mandal, Bangladesh, Chair

Dr. M. A. Sattar Mandal, Emeritus Professor at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Mymensingh, has been involved in teaching, research and policy planning in agriculture and rural development for over four decades. He completed his PhD from the University of London in 1979 and post-doc studies from the University of Oxford in 1986-87. He has worked as a visiting professor in many universities abroad including School of Development Studies of the University of East Anglia, UK in 1997 and 2000, and Faculty of Life Sciences of the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Kleve, Germany since 2013 through 2017.Major areas of Professor Mandal’s academic interests include agriculture and rural development, food and agricultural policy planning, irrigation and water resource management, agricultural technology, rural mechanization and agribusiness development. He was the Vice-Chancellor of BAU from 2008 to 2011. He was a member of the General Economics Division during 2000-2001 in the Planning Commission, the central Planning Organization of the Government of the Bangladesh. He is currently involved as a member of the Expert Pool of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh and has been a member of the Independent Steering Committee (ISC) for the new CGIAR research program on Fish AgriFood Systems (FISH) of WorldFish. He has had multiple advisory and consultancy roles with FAO, CIMMYT, WorldFish, Winrock, IFC and World Bank. He has led the preparation of various national policy documents and continues to influence agricultural policy till date.


Dr. Purvi Mehta, India, Co-Chair

Dr. Purvi Mehta currently serves as the Deputy Director and Head of Asia for agriculture at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, India. She received a PhD from the North Carolina State University in USA. She has worked with the CGIAR, as head of Asia for the International Livestock Research Institute and also as head of South Asia Biosafety program (IFPRI, USAID), and brings a blend of experience from Asia and Africa. She is on board of several organizations, including the International Alliance for Ecology and Health-Canada, International Centre for Rural Agriculture-Netherlands and the Board of National Commodity Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX). She is honorary professor at Amity University-India and visiting Scientist at Cornell University. She has been closely associated with several agriculture and nutrition policy platforms in India, South East Asia and Africa and serves on several committees and advisory panels. She was the recipient of Agriculture Today Award-2014, for her contributions to agriculture policies in South Asia. Dr. Mehta has two books and over 50 publications to her credit.

Our Team Profile


Siddharth Chaturvedi

Siddharth Chaturvedi is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a professional with over 12 years of work experience across public, private sector, startups and multilaterals.


Dr. Morseda Chowdhury

Dr Chowdhury is the current Director of the SAPLING secretariat and the Health, Nutrition and Population Programme in BRAC. Her specialty lies in reproductive healthcare, nutrition, communicable and non-communicable diseases through community-based healthcare. As Co-chair of ORCZA, Executive Member of C-SUN and other platforms, she is shaping the global discourse on nutrition, MNCH and reproductive care.


Dr. Imran Ahmed Chowdhury

Dr. Imran Ahmed Chowdhury is currently working as a Programme Coordinator at BRAC. He has research and implementation experience for nine years with a specific focus on maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH), health care financing, Nutrition, and Health system change. He has combined his expertise in research, interdisciplinary system management, coordination skills, and medical knowledge in the public health sector while simultaneously working to do better for the vulnerable population.

Our Partners



Launched in 2019, the South Asian Policy Leadership for Improved Nutrition and Growth (SAPLING) aims to establish a regional platform for consensus building among stakeholders to combat malnutrition through evidence-based policy and action. The initiative addresses common challenges in South Asian countries' food systems by synthesizing evidence, promoting best practices, and supporting policy leadership. SAPLING's primary goal is to enable a 'food systems' approach to address malnutrition in its priority countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.



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