President Smt. Droupadi Murmu’s inaugurated International Research Conference “From research to impact: Towards Just and Resilient Agri-Food Systems” in New Delhi. The President emphasised on the gender justice within agriculture, an industry she referred to as among the oldest sciences still grappling with contemporary gender disparities. The President highlighted the significant correlation between agri-food systems and structural inequalities, magnified during the Covid-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affected women through job losses and migration. Globally, she noted that women have been traditionally excluded from agri-food systems, facing enduring discriminatory norms and barriers preventing their ascent as decision-makers. In contrast, the President acknowledged India’s efforts in empowering women through legislative and governmental measures, fostering more gender-equitable prospects within the agricultural sector.
Smt. Murmu emphasized the need to transition from women’s development to women-led development in agriculture, asserting that modern women are not helpless but powerful contributors. She argued that transforming agri-food systems to become more just, inclusive, and equitable is not only desirable but also crucial for the well-being of the planet and humankind.
The President underscored the urgency of addressing climate change, global warming, and the unsustainable nature of current agri-food systems, which contribute to climate issues and greenhouse gas emissions. She called for a shift toward ecologically sustainable, ethically desirable, economically affordable, and socially justifiable agricultural practices achieved through systematic research. She advocated for resilient and agile agri-food systems capable of withstanding shocks and disruptions while ensuring accessible, available, and affordable nutritious diets for all.
Smt. Murmu expressed her confidence that the conference, spanning four days, will critically examine these issues and pave the way for positive transformations in agri-food systems.