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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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National conference on women in farming to take place ‘in the coming months’

A national conference on women in farming will take place in Ireland “in the coming months”, Minister McConalogue has confirmed.

Former Tánaiste and Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan, will chair the upcoming event, which the minister announced details of at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.

Speaking at the event, the minister said:

“Gender equality is a priority for me and the government. The significant contribution of women to the agri-food sector in Ireland has not always been afforded the recognition it deserves, and I have been working to address that issue.”

“The convening of a national conference provides an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input on how to increase the visibility and status of women in agriculture.”

The minister also brought forward specific supports in the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to support women farmers in carrying out investments on their enterprises.

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The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine raised the 60% TAMS grant aid age limit for women to 66 years.

Other measures include women-only Knowledge Transfer (KT) Groups; and a call under the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) initiative for proposals to examine women’s participation in agriculture.

Women account for some 13% of all farm holders in Ireland, information from the CSO Labour Force Survey 2019.

At the same time, CSO data shows there are approximately 75,000 female farm workers in Ireland.

This points to over 58,000 women working in farming without visibility and without status as a farm holder, the DAFM stated.

In addition, Food Vision 2030, the 10-year strategy for the agri-food sector, recognises the “important” contribution of women to the long-term sustainability of the agri-food sector.

The DAFM added that it includes actions to promote and improve gender balance at all levels, including at senior management and board level.

Also, it recommended holding a national conference to discuss gender issues in farming.

The DAFM will confirm further details, including a date.

You can read That’s Farming’s weekly women in ag segment.

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