Speaking recently at the Asia Digital Climakers Workshop organized by the World Farmers’ Organization and the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia, India’s leading cooperator and IRU Board Member as well as President of ICNW Dr Nandini Azad talked in great detail about the climate change that affected ICNW’s poor women members hard in India.
She said tsunami, floods and cyclones on coastal areas of South India caused death, destruction, economic and social losses. She also mentioned how the ICNW women farmer’s lives have changed from indebtedness, oppression to productive employment, growth as well as empowerment.
Dr Azad, President ICNW said “Cyclones will come and go but poor women will survive together with their cooperative”.
Dr Azad also highlighted the fact that gender in agriculture is important in order to eradicate poverty, ensure food security, and promote their own and family well-being. “The challenge of poverty cannot be addressed without addressing gender issues and climate change” Dr. Azad noted.
Dr Azad said that during Covid-19, 14 ICNW cooperatives reached nearly 120000 women workers and trained them how to combat the pandemic. This prevented women workers from falling back into debt, death and poverty, she remarked.
Dr Azad concluded saying the ICNW innovative and inclusive programs have greatly helped women stand on their own feet as well as gain confidence to face crises in their life.
In his remarks on the occasion, WFO President Theo de Jager said none in the world is more vulnerable to climate change than farmers, and none can do more in a short window of time to mitigate and adapt to climate change than the world farmers.
Hirofumi Kobayashi, Executive Director of IDACA moderated the proceedings. He described Dr Nandini Azad’s speech as very “Inspirational”.
Participants were from the Independent Farmers Network of Sri Lanka (IFN); the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA); the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu) in Japan; KOPEL – Eco-Tourism Cooperative in Malaysia; the Nepal Agriculture Cooperative Central Federation Ltd (NACCFL).