We are meeting amid an atmosphere of global tension. India has always been in favor of peace. Even in the present situation, we have constantly urged for the path of dialogue and diplomacy. The impact of this geopolitical tension is not just limited to Europe. The rising prices of energy and food grains are affecting all the countries. The energy and security of developing countries are particularly at risk. In this challenging time, India has supplied food grains to many countries in need. We have dispatched about 35,000 tonnes of wheat as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in the last few months. And even after the heavy earthquake there, India was the first country to deliver relief materials. We are also helping our neighbor Sri Lanka to ensure food security. I have some suggestions on the subject of global food security. First, we must focus on the availability of fertilizers, and keep the value chains of fertilizers smooth on a global scale. We are trying to increase the production of fertilizers in India and seek cooperation from G7 countries in this regard. Second, India has immense agricultural manpower compared to the countries of the G7. Indian agricultural skills have helped give new life to traditional agricultural products like cheese and olive in some of the countries of the G7. Can the G7 create a structured system for the widespread use of Indian agricultural talent in its member countries? With the help of the traditional talent of India’s farmers, food security will be ensured for G7 countries. Next year, the World is celebrating the International Year of Millets. On this occasion, we should run a campaign to promote a nutritious alternative like millets. Millets can make a valuable contribution to ensuring food security in the world. Finally, I would like to draw the attention of all of you to the ‘natural farming’ revolution taking place in India. Your experts can study this experiment. We have shared a non-paper on this subject with all of you.
Where gender equality is concerned, today, India’s approach is moving from ‘women’s development’ to ‘women-led development. More than 6 million Indian women frontline workers kept our citizens safe during the pandemic. Our women scientists made a big contribution to developing vaccines and test kits in India. More than one million female volunteers in India are active in providing rural health, whom we call ASHA workers. Just last month, the World Health Organization honored these Indian ASHA workers with its ‘2022 Global Leaders Award’.
If all the elected leaders in India from the local government to the national government are counted, more than half of them are women, and the total number will be in the millions. This shows that Indian women are fully involved in real decision-making today. Next year, India is going to chair the G20. We will maintain a close dialogue with G7 countries on other issues, including post-COVID recovery, under the G20 platform.