The Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) has said the 60% TAMS grant rate for women aged over 40, planned for the next CAP, will make a huge difference to a generation farmers.

Its chair Hannah Quinn-Mulligan commented: “WASG recommended that women over 40 should have access to a 60% TAMS grant and that women should have the option of joining female-only groups.

“This will make a huge change to the lives of the 70,000 women working on farms across the country who have been effectively voiceless and invisible up to now,” she claimed.

Prior to this announcement, less than 4% of all TAMS payments went to female farmers and just

3,000 women (out of 19,000 participants) took part in the previous knowledge transfer scheme.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the same rules will apply to women over 40 as currently applies to young farmers securing the higher grant rate, namely that the applicant must have the relevant agricultural qualifications and be the farm owner in their own right or in partnership.

'Proud moment'

“Today is a proud moment to be a woman working on Irish farms and credit to Minister Charlie McConalogue and his team within the Department of Agriculture for listening to WASG and acting on its policy suggestions,” she said

“Credit is also due to all the farm organisations and stakeholders, including the IFA, ICMSA, ICSA, Macra na Feirme, IOA and INHFA for their support on this.

It is a very positive first step which will make a difference to a generation of women farming in Ireland

“The next step will be to iron out details to make sure that both measures are effective and not misused in any way, but it is a very positive first step which will make a difference to a generation of women farming in Ireland,” concluded Quinn- Mulligan.

The ICMSA's WASG representative Vanessa Kiely O’Connor added: “The Irish State's commitment to gender inclusivity through CAP here will not only have a positive effect on all women in agriculture here in Ireland, but send ripples across the EU,” she said.

“Personally, it has been an honour to work with the other members of WASG on getting this very important submission through.

“As an ICMSA representative in the group, my view is that the opportunities for women through CAP will strengthen family farms now and into the future, leaving no one without recognition,” she finished.