President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated an international research conference on 'From Research to Impact: Towards Equitable and Resilient Agri-Food Systems' on October 9, 2023.
The four-day conference was organized by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Gender Impact Platform and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi.
- In the conference, President Murmu drew the attention of national and international representatives and scientific communities to the diminishing role of women in the agro-food system.
- Around the world, women are hindered by discriminatory social norms and barriers to knowledge, ownership, property, resources and social networks.
The role of women in the agriculture-food system:
- The President said that modern women are not weak but strong, that is, not helpless but powerful.
- We need not just women's development but women-led development.
- Making our agri-food systems more equitable, inclusive and equitable is not only desirable but also vital for the well-being of the planet and mankind.
Climate change a serious threat to the agri-food cycle:
- The President said that climate change is an existential threat, we need to act now and fast.
- Climate change, global warming, melting ice and species extinction are disrupting food production and the agri-food cycle is also no longer sustainable and environmental friendly. There is a need to break the cycle to take agro-food systems out of the vicious cycle.
- The President also stressed the need to enhance biodiversity and restore ecosystems to ensure food and nutrition security through agri-food systems with a more prosperous and equitable future for all.
Recent steps to empower Women in India:
- A historic event of G-20 took place under the Indian chairmanship, in whose manifesto emphasis has been laid on food security and nutrition of women, which is the cornerstone of individual and community development. This lays the foundation for the health of women as well as the betterment of children, family and community.
- The government has recently made a provision of 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies in the country by enacting the Women's Reservation Act.
Important statistics related to Indian agriculture:
- India is the second largest country in the world in agricultural output.
- The contribution of the agriculture sector to GDP is 14%.
- More than half the population gets employment in this sector.
- About 84% of Indian women depend on agriculture and allied sectors for livelihood.
- At present, the continuous efforts and favorable policies of the Central Government have enabled India to produce one-fourth of the world's food consumption along with South-Asian countries.
- There are 86 percent small and medium farmers in the country.
- In order to currently produce ecologically sustainable, ethically desirable, economically affordable and socially just, we need research that is situation-friendly to reach these goals.
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
- Established: 1971
- Founder: Forrest F. Hill
- CGIAR is a global partnership that brings together international organizations engaged in research about food safety.
- CGIAR research aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and sustainably manage natural resources.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
- Established: July 16, 1929 (named Imperial Council of Agricultural Research).
- ICAR is an autonomous institution under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
- ICAR is an apex body for coordination, guidance and research management and education in the field of agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the country.
- ICAR has played a leading role in bringing the Green Revolution in the country and subsequently in the development of the country's agricultural sector through its research and technology development.