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Godrej Agrovet Hosts 1st 'Women in Agriculture' Summit Celebrating Women's Role in Agriculture Sector

The 'Women in Agriculture' summit hosted by Godrej Agrovet demonstrates its dedication to acknowledging and empowering women in the agricultural sector.

Shivam Dwivedi
Panel Discussion - Enhancing employability for Women in the Food & Agri-Sector
Panel Discussion - Enhancing employability for Women in the Food & Agri-Sector

Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL) successfully hosted the first edition of its 'Women in Agriculture' summit. The summit, a one-of-a-kind event to celebrate women in the industry, intends to bring together diverse perspectives from across the agricultural landscape and engage in thought-provoking talks to address and acknowledge women's key role in India's agricultural sector.

Despite the prevalent belief that agriculture is a male-dominated sector, our country's stats show a different picture. Agriculture employs 86.1 million women in India or 60 percent of all female workers. In rural India, up to 84 percent of women rely on agriculture to make a living. On the other hand, women continue to be outnumbered by men in all positions in the agribusiness industry. As a result, the summit aimed to shed light on women's essential but frequently underestimated role in Indian agriculture.

Bridging Skill Gaps: Educational-Industry Collaborations

The panel discussion on improving employability for women in the agri-food sector delves deeply into several aspects of skill shortages that women in the field experience, as well as how educational and industry partnerships might help address the situation. The other panel discussion focused on developing and progressing women in leadership roles, allowing for the exchange of ideas and emphasizing the importance of empowering women in the industry.

Commenting on the summit and initiative taken by the company, Balram Singh Yadav, Managing Director, GAVL, said, “Our women farmers, despite their larger presence and immense contribution to the sector, lack essential resources. Hence in a country wherein we have to feed billion-plus people, we need to create an eco-system which thrives to promote women not only on the farm fields but also the ones in agri-businesses. Imparting them with the necessary knowledge, infrastructure and support will help us enhance the overall agricultural output of the country.”

He further added, “As India strives towards a future of sustainable development, empowering the women across the value chain and recognizing their significant contributions becomes non-negotiable. Hence, by partnering with the Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI), the Future Agriculture Leaders of India (FALI) and Godrej Good & Green, we aim to nurture 1 Lac women in the sector for better employment opportunities and economic upliftment.”

Partnerships for Women's Development in Agriculture

The Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) works towards capacity building by bridging gaps and upgrading the skills of farmers, wage workers, self-employed & extension workers engaged in organized / unorganized segments of Agriculture & Allied Sectors.

The Future of Agriculture Leaders in India (FALI), an initiative supported by leading agribusiness entities, work with tens of thousands of rural students, getting them the technical, business and leadership skills they need to succeed in modern, sustainable agriculture and agro enterprise.

Mallika Mutreja, Head- Human Resources, GAVL, emphasized the importance of women’s empowerment, stating, “At GAVL, the empowerment of women is at the heart of every action we undertake. We firmly believe that feminization in agriculture will aid us adapt best practices and address the structural inequalities which is key for our industry to realise the potential of women farmers. While this inaugural summit in partnership with the Agriculture Skill Council of India, signifies a crucial moment, as an entity which is focused on helping feed our nation, we look forward to more such collaborations in the coming years.”

The summit witnessed participation from leading industry leaders and academic experts like Nadir Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej Industries Limited (GIL) and Chairman of GAVL and Astec LifeSciences Limited; Nisaba Godrej, Executive Chairperson, Godrej Consumer Products Limited; Burjis Godrej, Executive Director & COO – Crop Protection Business, GAVL; Ahana Gautam, CEO, Open Secret; Angshuman Bhattacharya, Partner, EY; Geetika Mehta, Managing Director of Nivea; Ireena Vittal, Advisor & Expert (Indian Agriculture & Urban Change) & Independent Director; Shilpa Divekar Nirula, Venture Partner, Omnivore; Prof. Vidya Vemireddy, Chair of the Gender Centre at IIM Ahmedabad and Dr. Satendra Arya, CEO of the Agriculture Skill Council of India.

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