Smyth welcomes first ever National Conference on Women in Agriculture

Published on: 23 September 2022

Former Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan to chair National Conference
Fianna Fáil TD in Cavan-Monaghan & North Meath, Niamh Smyth, has welcomed confirmation from her party colleague and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, that Irelands first ever national conference on women in farming will take place in the coming months.  
Welcoming this announcement, Deputy Smyth said, "The key role of women in farming and food can't be overstated. However, we know that their involvement and invaluable input is not as well documented or acknowledged in the same way as their male peers.
"During our time in Government, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has listened to the challenges faced by female farmers and has worked hard to design measures to help increase participation. A range of measures were announced last year under the new CAP, to support women in farming and promote gender equality.
"The convening of a national conference provides an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input on how to increase the visibility and status of women in agriculture.''
Women account for some 13% of all farm holders in Ireland. At the same time, CSO data shows there are approximately 75,000 female farm workers in Ireland. This points to over 58,000 women working in farming without visibility and without status as a farm holder.
The Programme for Government recognises the need to do more on gender equality and includes a commitment to developing and implementing a new Strategy for Women and Girls.
In addition, Food Vision 2030, the 10-year strategy for the agri-food sector recognises the important contribution of women to the long-term sustainability of the agri-food sector, and includes actions to promote and improve gender balance at all levels, including at senior management and board level. 
Deputy Smyth concluded by saying, "In Government, Fianna Fáil are committed to ensuring that women across rural Ireland receive the official recognition for the work they do on farms. I hope that this acknowledgment, that they so truly deserve, will go some way in encouraging more women and especially young women into a career in farming.''
The National Conference on Women in Agriculture will take place in the coming months.