Report calls for special Dept unit for women in agriculture
Women should be allowed to register jointly with their husbands for herdbooks and single farm payments (SFP) in order to improve their status within the farming sector, according to a new report.
The Women in Agriculture report, which was prepared by Ms Lily Mulhall and Dr Pat Bogue on behalf of the National Rural Network (NRN), calls for major policy changes to improve the visibility of women in the industry.
The report recommends the establishment of a 'Women in Agriculture' unit in the Department of Agriculture, which would promote the social and economic contribution that women make to farming in Ireland.
CSO figures show that 27pc of the agricultural workforce is female and women's involvement in farming is growing.
In 2010, women contributed 36,554 average work units (AWU) on family farms, equating to 22pc of total AWUs in the sector.
In the decade 2000-2010, the number of spouses contributing AWUs to family farms showed an increase of 1pc, compared to a drop of 3pc in the AWUs of farm holders.
This indicates that female contribution to farm work is increasing relative to their male counterparts.