Equity in agri-food systems is critical to poverty reduction and women’s health, says Narendra Singh Tomar


Equity in agri-food systems is critical to poverty reduction and women's health, says Narendra Singh Tomar (Photo Source: @nstomar/twitter)
Equity in agri-food systems is critical to poverty reduction and women’s health, says Narendra Singh Tomar (Photo Source: @nstomar/twitter)

President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the International Research Conference on ‘From Research to Impact: Towards a Fair and Resilient Agri-Food System’ in New Delhi on 9 October 2023. The conference brought together eminent personalities and researchers from around the world to discuss gender equality and inclusion in agriculture.

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kailash Chaudhary and Shobha Karandlaje, Secretary for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Manoj Ahuja, Secretary for Agriculture Department attended the event. Research and Education, and Director General Indian Council of Agricultural Research Dr. Himanshu Pathak, CGIAR Executive Managing Director Prof. Andrew Campbell, CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform Director Dr. Nicole De Haan, Director, and South Asia Regional Director for CGIAR Temina. Lalani.Sharif.

President Draupadi Murmu delivered the opening address, emphasizing the important role of women in agriculture and the importance of empowering them for sustainable and equitable food systems. “For production that is environmentally sustainable, ethically desirable, economically affordable, and socially justifiable, we need research that can enable the conditions to reach these goals,” she said.

Marmo highlighted the persistent challenges faced by women in agriculture worldwide, such as discriminatory social norms and barriers to knowledge, ownership, assets, resources and social networks. She called for a change in the identity and role of women in the agri-food system, saying that ‘their story needs to be changed.’

President Marmo praised the CGIAR GENDER IMPACT PLATFORM for focusing on women as agents of change rather than just subjects of change, emphasizing the need to include gender equality and inclusion at the center of food systems research. Former Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar acknowledged the significant contribution of women to Indian agriculture and their extensive unpaid care work. They emphasized the importance of gender equality in the agri-food system, which is in line with the G20 Declaration emphasizing women’s well-being for social development.

Tomar also highlighted India’s commitment to agricultural research, development and innovation, recognizing the critical role of small and medium farmers in sustaining the country’s food supply. He called for continued investment in research and innovation to increase productivity and address the challenges posed by climate change.

ICAR Director General Dr Himanshu Pathak noted the conference’s role in advancing resilient, equitable and just food systems. He stressed the importance of mainstreaming women in agriculture, stressing their potential to drive economic growth through better access to resources and technical know-how.

CGIAR Professor Andrew Campbell emphasized the community-wide benefits of gender equality in resource access and decision-making in agriculture. He emphasized that gender plays an important role in achieving comprehensive agricultural transformation. Dr. Nicolene de Haan called for a new wave of research-backed innovation that empowers women in the food system, echoing the legacy of the late Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, who pioneered the Green Revolution.

Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa, delivered a keynote address, highlighting the importance of research in areas such as food security, nutrition, climate-smart approaches, inclusive agricultural value chains, and digitization for gender-inclusive agricultural transformation. Highlighted

Researchers from 68 countries are participating, promoting scientific exchange, dialogue and collaboration. The event seeks to bridge the gap between research and practice and promote gender-equitable and socially inclusive, resilient food systems.

First Published: 09 Oct 2023, 22:16 IST


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