United Nations celebrates India’s Araku coffee and women in sustainable farming

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj and President of the United Nations General Assembly Dennis Francis with guests on March 8, 2024, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. PHOTO: Yoshita Singh

United Nations, NY: Showcasing the “impactful role of women in sustainable farming practices globally,” the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, celebrated International Women’s Day and the Extraordinary Story of Araku Coffee and the tribal women involved in its success, on March 8, 2024, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Speaking on the occasion, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj called the cultivation of Araku, “A journey of empowerment, resilience, and transformation” and a “living experience” for sustainable growth and equality. “The story of Araku coffee is an emblem of this remarkable journey that is ongoing in India,” she said.

“It’s not just a beverage, it’s a testament to the strength, dedication, spirit of women who are integral to its journey from seed to cup. These extraordinary women have turned the art of coffee growing into a source of pride for their communities,” Kamboj said. “They remind us, that when women lead – they just don’t lead their families, they lead communities towards a brighter, more sustainable future. In the nurturing hands of these women coffee beans are not just agricultural products but seeds of change.”

President of the United Nations General Assembly, Dennis Francis noted that the occasion not only celebrated tribal women of Araku Valley, but also acknowledged their pioneering role in catalyzing “an agricultural, economic, and social revolution through coffee cultivation.”

Francis also recognized Coffeeologist, Sherri Johns, who attended the event, and said her “dedication and expertise have undoubtedly contributed to the success of this noble project.”

Recalling his recent official visit to India, Francis said “Nari Shakti” or women power was evident everywhere.

“From finance and digital technology to health, education, space, and aviation, Indian women are the narrators of their country’s development story,” he stressed. “I was energized and motivated by the many initiatives aimed at empowering women economically …” he added, narrating the story of Araku valley women, describing it as “not just about coffee; it is about empowerment, dignity, and autonomy of local communities.”

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed while underscoring the connection between women and sustainable farming practices affirmed, “I would like to commend the Indian government for its leadership and commitment to advancing the Food Systems Transformation agenda at the country level. Everything we spoke about in Rome; we can see played out in this room today…”

Mohammed also highlighted the importance of representation by women farmers, young and indigenous people at the local level for implementation, in addition to advocating for investing in food systems and associated transformations.



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