Maura Farrell, senior lecturer in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies in University of Galway

Dr Maura Farrell, senior lecturer, University of Galway speaking at the inaugural National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture.

"Women are great drivers of change on farms. We are much more willing to make a tough decision compared to men and this can add greatly to the viability of the farm in many cases. Men can be welded to traditional types of farming.

"I think it's very important to mark International Women's Day but ultimately, women need to take the reins into their own hands.

"We're coming off the cusp of a really good wave for women in agriculture.

"Farm diversification and innovation are other areas where women have made great strides. Organics is one of the areas where women are really paving the way.

"However, there are areas of assistance that need addressing such as childcare in rural areas, access to finance and access to land."

Mona O'Donoghue Concannon, Women in Agriculture Stakeholder Group chair

“International Women's Day is a great opportunity to recognise the contribution women make to farms across Ireland, and who are an integral part of the life blood of the rural economy.

"However their contribution past, present and future is often not fully recognised and undervalued.

"We welcome the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s recent Women in Agriculture conference as first step to addressing the current gender and inclusivity challenges facing the sector. This work must continue from the ground up, bringing female farmers and business together at both regional and county level to develop concrete solutions that sustain and attract women into food and farming."

Alice Doyle IFA farm family and social affairs chair

“The discussions at the recent Women in Agriculture conference once again clearly defined the barriers and needs for greater involvement of women in agri-food sector – such as increasing visibility, working life balance and training for women as well as addressing issues related to succession, access to land and female representation across the industry.

“My hope on International Women's Day is that we now move forward with targets and actions to address these issues reviewed on an annual basis."

Deirdre Hynes, Dairy Women Ireland

"It's an important day to recognise the role we play in society and especially the role we play in farming.

"Over the last number of years there has been more of a drive to promote women to make a career in agriculture. However, any drive to support women in agriculture needs to be led by women but also strongly supported by men.

"On many farms women are an integral part of strategy and business development on farms. They are there to make important decisions when they need to be made."