Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

  1. Barriers: Most less developed countries follow a hierarchical system of governance, in which the process of policymaking generally involves people who, irrespective of their academic credentials, have attained a high management/administrative position. Considering that the number of women professionals in such bodies is less than 5-10%, it is only natural that the policy decisions are seldom gender inclusive, though it is accepted that women are at the centre of agrifood systems. Similarly, the youth rarely get representation in policymaking in the true sense, though there are some attempts made here and there.   
  2. Opportunities: With increasing education, women are becoming more aware of their needs and rights and forming all-women or women-centric groups from SHG to women cooperatives. While many of these fail soon after taking off, the few that succeed encourage many more to follow suit. 
  3. The educated and skilled youth are venturing into a large number of start-ups with or without help from funders, NGOs and corporate houses, and some have shown encouraging results, attracting the attention of the policymakers.

Dr. Malavika Dadlani , Former Joint Director (Res.), ICAR-IARI, New Delhi, India

Editor, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India.