Tijs van Balen
Tijs van Balen was born and raised in Woudenberg, a small village in the centre of the Netherlands, and has travelled, worked and lived extensively in Asia, Africa and the Middle East ever since.
After studying Business Administration Media, Tijs worked as a journalist for the NOS (Dutch News) for several years. Longing for more in-depth understanding of global issues and dynamics, he obtained his Bachelor in History and Master in International Relations from Utrecht University. During his Master Degree Tijs worked as a political and economic trainee for the Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.
With over 9 billion people to feed by 2025, sustainable development of the agricultural sector is more than critical. Being more aware of these immense challenges Tijs is determined to contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable agricultural sector.
Since late 2016, he has been working for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation as a dairy business advisor in Kenya and later on as a dairy project coordinator for East Africa. He gained experience in (agri-)business linkages, governance, value chain development and food security and safety, where scalability and sustainability have been key focus points throughout.
From 2019 onwards, Tijs is working for Agriterra in Myanmar. He enjoys travelling, different cultures, swimming and reading. Furthermore, he has a passion for theatre, wildlife and loves to visit the museum. With his up-beat and accommodating attitude Tijs is outgoing, enthusiastic about Agriterra’s farmer-led approach and a true believer of business oriented cooperative development.