Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Common Agricultural Policy: Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group

Photo of Michael FitzmauriceMichael Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway, Independent) | Oireachtas source

First, I welcome the witnesses. It is great to see them. I have daughters myself, and when I need a hand, sometimes they are out quicker than the lads. Ms Quinn-Mulligan talked about the CAP going forward. Regarding the mentality, I presume, and I would have looked into a bit of this, that the reason the numbers are greater for those later in life is, say, the spouse would be dead or something and they were handing the farm over to the other person. I think that was the reason I got before on that.

What are the actions regarding CAP and otherwise? This is about a sea change in the whole farming community, to be quite frank about it. It is about respect for people who are doing much of the work. It is well known there are many women throughout this country who are basically keeping the farm going, as Ms Quinn-Mulligan has rightly pointed out. What are the obstacles the witnesses face? Do they face sexism in the whole industry, that someone would look at them and that there is this attitude there? Is it education as well early on in schools and in the agricultural colleges? I know the numbers of ladies in the agricultural colleges who are studying agriculture science has gone up a lot. I have been monitoring that. What are the steps we need to take to make sure we achieve what the witnesses talked about, the 25% by 2030? We can have goals, but we need to make sure we get a level playing field. What are the things we can do for the people who own farms so that they give a fair chance to the daughters, nieces or whoever on the farm?


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