Centre for Rural Economy

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Scottish Government to set up new taskforce in response findings

In response to research findings by researchers at Newcastle and the James Hutton Institute, the Scottish Government  is setting up a new task force to address inequalities in the farming industry.  The researchers found that women play a major role in Scottish agriculture, participating in the full range of farming activities. However, barriers remain to their entry into the industry, their career progression, and promotion to leadership roles, and women’s important contribution to the agricultural economy in Scotland is little recognised.   They are recommending agricultural organisations operate a quota system in their leadership elections in order to achieve better representation for women and also call for the traditional inheritance practices of passing on farms to one son to be challenged.  Professor Sally Shortall, Duke of Northumberland Chair of Rural Economy at Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy, who led the research, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government, said: “The evidence is clear, showing that farming businesses rely heavily upon the contribution of women.  But it is difficult for them to progress and the potential of new entrants is being curtailed.  The industry is missing out on the talents of young women in particular.“ 

published on: 23 June 2017