It is time for the minister to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to addressing inclusivity in agriculture.
That was the message Hannah Quinn-Mulligan, chair of the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG), sent to Minister McConalogue during his CAP consultation mart tour this week.
The WASG welcomed support from the minister for women in farming but says he needs to back this with policy.
Speaking at Kilmallock Mart on Monday, October 4th, the minister said:
“There’s no doubt that women have always been the anchor of many farms but not necessarily the front face, and really they have been the drivers and managers on many farms.”
“There is more work to be done concerning addressing that culture. In terms of initiatives and ideas, we can do that.”
“I’m open to listening, particularly to young women, about what would help and what would be productive in that regard.”
The minister spoke in response Quinn-Mulligan’s question on what the next CAP would do not just for the active farmer but the unrecognised farmer.
She highlighted that 70,000 women were actively working on farms every day, yet just 16,000 received farm payments.
The minister acknowledged the historical legacy that has faced women in agriculture.
He said: “I do think we also need to look at how we can change culture and attitudes in relation to ensuring how for young women coming into agriculture it is encouraged in the same way that young men are encouraged coming into agriculture which hasn’t always been the case.”
Quinn-Mulligan said that they had already met with senior DAFM officials and Minister of State for Agriculture Martin Heydon.
She stressed it was now up to the minister to take up those policies and “put his money where his mouth is” when addressing inclusivity in agriculture.
The chair said he could do this not just in CAP policy but in the upcoming Budget.
She pointed to ensuring FoodVision 2030 commitment of funding a national dialogue for women in agriculture as one possible measure.
Other articles from the WASG:
- Less than 4% of TAMS went to female farmers
- ‘A long way to go to secure the future inclusion of women in the sector’
- ‘It’s time young women were given equal consideration when it comes to inheriting land’
Read women in ag profiles.