Analysis carried out by the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG), shows that more women aged over 80 are considered to be actively farming by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), than those under 40.
Further analysis showed that men in farming do not suffer from the same comparison.
According to WASG, the figures show that despite their capability, young women are not considered as farm successors, and women are more likely to inherit land through the death of their husbands, than through succession from their parents.
The group said that this leads to further problems because although figures show that 12% of farmers are women, just 8% are in receipt of farm payments – meaning those women are more likely to rent out land, than farm it themselves.
Women in agri
The WASG group, which is made up of representatives from all leading farm organisations, will make its first appearance at the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine today (Tuesday, September 21).
It said that it will use its analyses to point out why support for women is needed in the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
WASG chair, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan said: “Every industry knows that young people are its future, so it is extremely worrying that more women aged over 80 are considered to be actively farming, than those under 40.
“Statistically, there are an equal number of young boys and girls growing up on farms across Ireland, and it’s time the sector stepped up and asked itself why more women aren’t taking over farms.
“Women have always shared the workload on Irish farms, yet the official recognition of that work has never happened,” she added.
The WASG said that figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 70,000 women are getting up every day to work on farms in some capacity, and yet just 16,000 women are in receipt of payments.
Just 3.8% of all farms are in joint male and female names.
“The figures are not improving organically, and the primary aim of the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group is to push the number of women farming in their own name and in partnerships to 25% by 2030, through the mechanics of the CAP,” Quinn-Mulligan concluded.