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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘It’s time young women were given equal consideration when it comes to inheriting land’

The Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) has welcomed its first engagement with the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon.

They discussed several measures to support the inclusivity of women in agriculture.

These included the need to increase the number of young women in primary agricultural courses, succession, and CAP policies.

Chair of the group, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan, said.

“Previous research has shown that just 10% of Teagasc courses are filled by women.”

“While the gender balance is more equally split in agricultural science for level 8 degrees, women tend to opt for more industry-focused specialities.”

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“This highlights the major succession issue on farms, where enthusiastic, young women have little expectation of inheriting land but still have a passion for farming and commit to a career in agriculture.”

“It’s time these young women were given equal consideration when it comes to inheriting land.”

Overall, Quinn-Mulligan said it was a positive first meeting. She added that it was “heartening” to see the department’s continued support for women in agriculture.

“Minister Heydon spoke very movingly about the work that his own mother did on the family farm.”

“There is no doubt that he understands both the valuable input that women have on farms and also the need to increase formal recognition of their work,” Quinn-Mulligan concluded.

CAP proposals

Furthermore, the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group met with the DAFM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021.

The group – comprising members of the IFA, ICMSA, ICSA and Macra na Feirme – discussed CAP proposals. These include a partnership tax credit, female-only KT schemes and a 60% TAMS grant for women.

Quinn-Mulligan said: “Considering currently fewer than 500 women under 35 years of age receive farm payments, there is a long way to go to secure the future recognition and inclusion of women in the sector.”

The newly formed group has called on Minister Charlie McConalogue to “tackle” inclusivity and the gender balance in Irish agriculture.

Out of 20,612 payments since 2016, the DAFM made 751 to women. In addition, it issued just 97 of those payments to women under 35 years of age.

The group recently obtained figures in relation to TAMS payments and participation in the KT Scheme. Read this article.

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