Aparna Barua from Corteva Agriscience Shares Insights from Her Journey to Becoming a Successful Crop Protection Scientist

Aparna Baruah, Ph.D.IFS Field Scientist, East India & PB for Leps driven projects, India, Corteva Agriscience
Aparna Baruah, Ph.D.IFS Field Scientist, East India & PB for Leps driven projects, India, Corteva Agriscience

Both science and gender equality are critical to achieving internationally accepted Sustainability goals, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the last few decades, the international community has worked hard to inspire and engage women and girls in science. Despite this, they are still barred from fully participating in science. 

Today, i.e., February 11th is celebrated as International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The goal of the day is to encourage women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It also aims to promote awareness about their contributions to science and technology. 

To celebrate this day Krishi Jagran interviewed Aparna Baruah, Ph.D.IFS Field Scientist, East India & PB for Leps driven projects, India, Corteva Agriscience 

She was born in Arunachal Pradesh, & completed her schooling there. For higher education, she moved to Assam and later started working with Dow AgroSciences in 2016. 

How did you first become interested in agriculture? 

During my school days, I never aspired to study agriculture. Like all other kids, I too had fascinating ambitions and always wanted to become a Pilot. 

My parents never supported me to become a pilot and next best option I could think of to peruse my career was in Agriculture. Because I was born and brought up in Arunachal Pradesh in the midst of hills and nature. And once I opted Agriculture for my higher studies, day by day it got interesting and I continued happily. Not only the subjects, now I realize when I look back that even the university campus played a vital role. It was so lively- full of greenery, streams etc.  And now I consider coming into Agriculture was one of my best decision. 

Did you have any role model when you were growing up? 

No, I never had a role model in life. I have a very different thought process when it comes to role model. Because I never wanted to become someone`s replica, rather I wanted to be my own version. But this doesn’t mean I don’t learn from others. It’s just that I don’t follow a specific one. Rather I believe in learning for every person I meet, every circumstances I come across. And at the end keep the best and discard the rest. 

Can you tell us why did you decided to become a field scientist? 

In crop protection R&D, usually field scientist is the first step. But for me things were little reverse. As a freshers, I joined as a Tech-Transfer Executive based at Head Office, which was a techno commercial role. After a short period when I was accustomed in my new work environment, I got into my next role as a Field Scientist. More than me, it was my Supervisor who strategically planned my initial phase of career so that I can come out strong. And finally, I ended up being the first female field scientist of my organisation. 

How has your journey been so far as a field scientist? 

It’s been an awesome journey till date. Being in field is a blessing, I believe. We travel a lot, get new experiences, interact with different people, enjoy different places, culture, food etc. etc. Apart from that we are also collaborate with agriculture institutes. This is again a different experience, interacting with scientist community and handling regulatory projects. 

What motivated you to become a field scientist? 

I always wanted to be a Field Scientist as this role gives immense opportunity to learn and explore new things. 

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