Kees Blokland (Sliedrecht, Netherlands 1955) is founder and managing director of Agriterra since 1997. He is a graduate from the Free University of Amsterdam in Economic Sciences (1980) and Cultural Anthropology (1981). In 1992, he became a doctor in Social Sciences (Leiden University) based on a study on the relationship between the vision and operations of farmer organisations and economic development. He collected the material for his PhD study during an eight-year stay in Nicaragua (1982-1990). While working through FAO, he was advisor to the National Union of Farmers and Cattle Breeders (UNAG). In 1990 -1997, he was engaged by the Paulo Freire Foundation (PFS). The international platform for rural people’s organisations, Vía Campesina, was in 1993 launched upon his initiative. The rural bank (Banco del Campo) in Nicaragua owes its foundation in 1994 to his advice and investment brokerage.
In 1995, his lobby for an agrarian development cooperation organisation met response at the Dutch Agricultural Board ‘Landbouwschap’ a corporate body for agriculture that was closed in 2000. In 1997, this resulted in the foundation of Agriterra. He invited similar development cooperation organisations to the Agriterra launch, a meeting that five years later led to the creation of AgriCord, the alliance of agri-agencies. In 1998, he initiated AgriPool, the employment agency of Agriterra for experts from cooperatives and farmer organisations. In that same year, also the web based management information platform later on known as agro-info.net, was initiated.
Kees Blokland has been vice-president of the Development Cooperation Committee (DCC) of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) in the period 2002 – 2006, and vice-president of AgriCord from 2008-2016. In 2008-2014 he collaborated with the Spanish farmers and cooperative organisations to found their own agri-agency. In 2015, he became the director ejecutivo interino. Since 2015, Kees Blokland is involved in the establishment of the agri-agency for Southern Africa, working closely with the confederation of Agricultural Unions from that region, SACAU. He is currently board member of AgriProFocus.