A range of measures have been announced under the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2023-2027 that will support women in farming in Ireland and promote gender equality.

One measure, outlined today (Monday, November 1) by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, is an increased rate of grant aid of 60% for women aged 41-55 years’ under Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS).

This increased rate was just one of the things lobbied for by the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) during CAP Strategic Plan consultations.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed that the package of measures also includes 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.

The new CAP places particular focus on promoting the participation of women in the socio-economic development of rural areas, with special attention to farming, according to the DAFM.

The SWOT analysis in preparation for Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan identified gender inequality as a weakness, while the economic benefits of increasing female participation was identified as an opportunity, the DAFM continued.

“Gender equality is a priority for my department, as well as being a cross-cutting objective of the forthcoming CAP,” said Minister McConalogue.

“The contribution of women to agriculture is important and my department has worked to design measures that will increase their participation in farming.

“Food Vision 2030, the agri-food sector’s new 10-year stakeholder strategy, also supports an enhanced role for women in the sector and recommends some further actions, including a national dialogue on women in agriculture.

“I have asked my officials to prioritise this dialogue for next year,” said Minister McConalogue.

Commenting, Minister of State, Senator Pippa Hackett said:

“It is important that gender mainstreaming is integrated into policymaking both through specific CAP interventions.

“I am pleased that equality between women and men, which is a core principle of the European Union, is being given increased emphasis to ensure our rural areas flourish.”

Minister of State, Martin Heydon added:

“Women have always been central to farm enterprises across the generations, but often in roles that are not visible or sufficiently recognised.

“These measures seek to correct that imbalance and ensure greater representation by women as farm holders and in decision-making on farms.”