The Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) has announced its CAP proposals which include a partnership tax credit, a female only knowledge transfer schemes and a 60% TAMS grant for women.

It was the first meeting between WASG and the Department of Agriculture senior officials and it said it “was cautiously optimistic about the outcome”.

The Department has confirmed they are actively reviewing our CAP proposals

WASG chair Hannah Quinn-Mulligan commented: “Considering currently fewer than 500 women under 35 years of age receive farm payments, there is a long way to go to secure the future recognition and inclusion of women in the sector.

“The Department has confirmed they are actively reviewing our CAP proposals and we look forward to engaging with them again in the coming weeks,” she added.

Issues were discussed with a number of the representatives from the group that included the IFA, ICMSA, ICSA and Macra na Feirme.

IFA representative Caroline Farrell said: “The IFA were delighted to be part of the meeting and the Department seemed to engage with us constructively with more meetings expected in the future.”

Further work with the Department was also outlined by Vanessa Kiely O’Connor, ICMSA, who said: “We felt our proposals were welcomed and we look forward to working with them and their commitment to gender balance.”

Mona O’Donoghue Concannon of the ICSA and Louise Crowley of Macra na Feirme agreed that the meeting had been positive.

However, Crowley remarked that what followed “would determine how serious the Department was in their commitment to improving inclusivity in the sector”.