The new Women Farmers Capital Investment Scheme (WFCIS) – 60% TAMS grant measure – “locks out women farmers who need it”, according to Claire Kerrane TD.
The Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture has voiced concerns about reports that many women farmers will be locked out of accessing the new measure as a result of the scheme’s eligibility requirements.
To qualify for the new scheme, women farmers must have been part of the farming enterprise in 2022 or have completed an agricultural qualification, such as the Green Cert.
However, it has been flagged by the Women in Agriculture Stakeholder Group (WASG) that these rules will prevent many women farmers from accessing the scheme.
In this news article, the group’s Co Galway-based chair, Mona O’Donoghue Concannon, said, “A lot of women are going to be excluded again from this”.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“While the new scheme is a positive step forward, it seems that many women farmers will not be able to avail of this support.”
“We know that women are often involved in their family farms, but that work may not be recorded through ‘official’ avenues – whether that is being listed as part of the farm enterprise or through educational certification.”
“As the WASG have pointed out, those are the very women that the scheme should be aimed at. Instead, they are now being locked out of accessing it, which is incredibly disappointing.”
“A targeted scheme like this should take into account the knowledge and experience of women farmers and also work to recognise and address the challenges they face within the sector.”
Minister McConalogue and his DAFM officials, the TD added, must now engage with women farmers and the WASG to rectify these issues to ensure that this scheme is “actually accessible to women farmers in the first place”.