Thursday, 9 December 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
21. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the new measures contained within his CAP Strategic Plan to provide for women farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [60633/21]
The new CAP Regulations place particular focus on promoting the participation of women in the socio-economic development of rural areas, with special attention to farming.
The SWOT analysis in preparation for Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) identified gender inequality as a weakness, while the economic benefit of increasing female participation was identified as an opportunity.
The Needs Assessment for the CSP points to the need to increase opportunities for women in agriculture and business development. I have engaged extensively with stakeholders on the future of CAP, including on supports to promote gender equality, and the development of the new CSP continues in advance of the end-of-year deadline.
Some 45 submissions on the need to increase supports for women in agriculture were received as part of the public consultation on the proposed draft interventions for the CSP. My Department has taken these submissions into consideration, resulting in some new innovative proposals to promote gender equality in the draft CSP.
The package of measures includes: an increased rate of grant aid of 60% for women aged 40-55 years under Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS); women-only Knowledge Transfer (KT) Groups; and a call under the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) initiative for proposals to examine women’s participation in agriculture.
We recently launched a Public Consultation on the draft Environmental Report on the draft CSP. To date, some 29 submissions on supports for women in agriculture have been received and these will be considered as part of the process to finalise the CSP in advance of the end-of-year deadline. Consultation is also continuing via the CAP Consultative Committee and through bilateral meetings with representative bodies and stakeholders.
In addition, the new stakeholder strategy for the Irish agri-food sector, Food Vision 2030, recognises the important contribution of women to the sector's long-term sustainability and includes a number of actions to promote and improve gender balance at all levels, and proposes holding a national dialogue on women in agriculture.
More can be done on this important issue and I am committed to delivering greater equality in the Irish agri-food sector.