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26 Sept 2022

Female farmers push for gender balance at Leinster House meeting today

Female farmers push for gender balance at Leinster House meeting today

Female farmers push for gender balance at Leinster House meeting today

Gender imbalance in Irish agriculture is to be addressed at a meeting with a new female farmers advocacy group in Leinster House today. 

The Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG), which is made up of prominent farming organisations including The Irish Farmers' Association and Macra na Feirme, will discuss their Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) submission to achieve a better gender balance in the industry. 

They will also reportedly discuss the issue of women not being considered as young farm successors "despite being equally capable". 

Cathaoirleach of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Jackie Cahill TD, spoke ahead of the meeting and said, "The Committee looks forward to meeting with [WASG] and to discuss their call for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to address the issue of achieving gender balance within Irish agriculture on its [CAP] submission. We welcome a constructive debate with the group.” 

According to a 2017 study from Eurostat, Ireland has the lowest proportion of female farmers in the European Union at just 12%.

The committee will also discuss the impact of peat shortages on the horticulture industry. 

Deputy Cahill said the committee had "a busy day ahead" discussing the two important issues. 

He called the importation of peat into Ireland "nonsensical" and said, "At the moment, the solution put forward seems to be the importation of peat into this country for this industry. Peat is a natural product of this country. We need to explore possibilities around a small percentage of our bogs being used to harvest peat for these industries in rural Ireland." 

The meeting will be broadcast from Committee Room 3 of Leinster House.

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