Women working on farms are being forced to jump through hoops in relation to the age limit and agricultural qualification which will be necessary in order to access the 60% TAMS grant in the next CAP, the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) has said.
It’s been proposed by the Department that women between 40 and 55 years of age who hold an agricultural qualification can access a 60% TAMS in the next CAP, WASG has said.
"Analysis of the most recent figures from the Department show that just over 5,000 women officially farming fit into this age category, but it is not known how many of these women have an agricultural qualification and there are an additional 70,000 women working on farms in an unrecognised capacity," the group said.
Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) representative on the group Vanessa Kiely O’Connor said that Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has missed the point on tackling inclusivity on farms.
Over the age limit
"There are women over the proposed age limit that are working on their family farms and not getting official recognition for their work.
“The purpose of our CAP submission is that every woman working on their home farm deserves the right to be recognised,” she said.
Kiely O’Connor has said that she has received numerous calls from women over the age of 55 questioning if they will ever get their due recognition and whether the Minister and the Department are truly committed to inclusivity at all.
Commitment to gender balance within Irish agriculture
“WASG are trying to assist the Government to achieve our national and European commitment to gender balance within Irish agriculture to get from just 12% women farming to over 25% by the end of the next CAP.
"We will not be able to achieve this by barriers such as age being put forward by the Department,” Kiely O’Connor added.
WASG chair Hannah Quinn-Mulligan said: "The Minister still has a chance to prove that this is not the case.
“For many women this could be their only chance of ensuring they become equal partners on the farms they’ve spent the best part of their lives working on. Hopefully, the Minister recognises the weight of his responsibility and does not let them down.”