Godrej Agrovet organized the first edition of its ‘Women in Agriculture’ Summit

Godrej Agrovet hosts first edition of its ‘Women in Agriculture’ summit

Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL) successfully hosted the first edition of its ‘Women in Agriculture’ summit. A unique initiative to celebrate women in the sector, the summit aims to bring together diverse perspectives within the agricultural landscape and engage in thought-provoking conversations to address and acknowledge the pivotal role of women in India’s agricultural sector. 

Despite the widespread misconception that agriculture is a male-dominated field, our country’s data reveals a different reality. In India, 86.1 million women, accounting for 60 percent of all female workers in the country, are employed in agriculture.  The percentage of women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84 percent  in rural India. On the other hand, in the agri-businesses too, women continue to be outnumbered by men across positions. Hence the summit aimed to shed light on the crucial yet often overlooked role of women in Indian agriculture. 

The panel discussion on enhancing employability for women in the agri-food sector deep dived into different aspects of skill gaps that women in the sector face and how educational and industry collaboration could aid in addressing the situation. The other panel discussion focused on developing and advancing women in leadership roles and facilitated the exchange of thoughts and ideas while highlighting the need to empower 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 the women not only on the farm fields but also the ones in agri-businesses. Imparting them with the necessary knowledge, infrastructure and support will definitely 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.’  

Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) works towards capacity building by bridging gaps and upgrading 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 practises and address the structural inequalities which is key for our industry in order to realize 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.

The ‘Women in Agriculture’ summit serves as a testament to GAVL’s commitment to recognize and empower women in the agricultural sector. By fostering a platform for dialogue and collaboration, the summit paves the way for a future where women are recognized as equal partners in driving sustainable agricultural growth in India.

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