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Aisling Molloy

Project title: How Teagasc advisory services can improve engagement with and empowerment of farm women

Project Description
The aim of this study is to establish the current level and nature of engagement of farm women in Co. Wexford with agricultural advisory services, to identify their knowledge needs and examine ways to increase their engagement in a way that supports and empowers their role within family farms. While an estimated 74,000 women work on Irish farms (27% of the agricultural workforce), only 4,800 are registered clients with the public farm advisory service (Teagasc). Focusing on one county as representative of the national situation, the study profiled farm women, their roles on farms; their knowledge needs; the extent of their engagement with advisory services, the barriers to their engagement; and proposed a strategy to address these. The research was carried out with women working and/or living on farms in Co. Wexford and included a questionnaire survey of 233 farm women, focus group discussions with representatives of the survey respondents, a case study of the Wexford Women Who Farm group and key informant interviews. A questionnaire survey was also conducted with farm advisers in the county to investigate the extent to which they currently engage with farm women and their attitudes towards the value of greater engagement. The main barriers to engagement with advisory services were identified as: the feeling that women wouldn’t be taken as seriously as male producers (17.7%), that they aren’t welcome in many agricultural groups (13.1%), a lack of self-confidence (12.6%) and a lack of knowledge and training (10.5%).

Teagasc Supervisor: Jane Kavanagh

UCD Supervisor: Dr. Monica Gorman

Location:  Teagasc Advisory Office, , Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

Download: Aisling Molloy MAIS Thesis Overview (PDF)