A Women in Agriculture Taskforce is being established to consider issues such as better succession planning, more appropriate health and safety, better access to training and progression within the industry.
It will be co-chaired by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity and Joyce Campbell, a working farmer and entrepreneur based in Sutherland.
The Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector research report by Newcastle University, commissioned by the SNP Government, is the first major investigation into issues facing women in the Scottish agricultural sector.
The report recommended enabling female progression from young farmers’ groups to more senior roles in sector bodies; the establishment of a talent bank of suitably-qualified women for farming positions and mechanisms to identify women mentors to support both male and female farm apprentices.
Patricia Gibson said:
“The SNP Government has always placed equality at the heart of all it does and it is absolutely right that fairness extends to all sectors of Scottish society.
“This report is a welcome insight into Scotland’s agricultural sector. While recognising the hugely valuable role women play in our farming community, it also highlights some significant challenges holding women back from playing an equitable role in agriculture. These need to be addressed.
“That is why I am delighted that this taskforce will look in-depth at the report’s recommendations, to ensure the potential of women in farming is realised to help grow and develop the industry and better represent the forward-facing, 21st century Scotland in which we live.”