Ireland’s first national farm inclusivity survey has been launched to provide an indication of the challenges faced by the farming community in terms of inclusivity.

The inclusivity survey will be undertaken by the University of Limerick (UL) and the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG).

In a statement, the WASG said diversity and inclusivity are still major challenges for the agriculture sector with Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures showing that the number of women officially farming in their own right increased by just 1% over the last 10 years.

It added, that with the upcoming policy supports in the Common Agricultural Policy, the survey will help benchmark the progress of the policy measures.

“Just 13,000 women are ‘officially’ farming and in receipt of farm payments in Ireland, yet we also know from CSO figures that 70,000 women work on farms every day,” chair of the WASG, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan said.

The survey is completely anonymous and will take fewer than five minutes to complete. The WASG is hoping that men and women will take part “because their input will be invaluable in helping to shape future policy”.

Collaborating with the WASG on the survey is Mary Curtin, a PhD scholar at UL, who is currently examining female farm ownership from a legal, financial, social and cultural standpoint.

Mary also farms with her father and is passionate about ensuring the work of women on farms is recognised.

Commenting, she said:

“I’m delighted to be working in collaboration with the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group in bringing about change.”

The national farm inclusivity survey is available here