Woman farmer of the year putting rural women in spotlight
The association, aiming to raise awareness about the significant role women farmers have across Slovenia, conferred the Woman Farmer of the Year title to Marjeta Ročnik from Jamnik near Prevalje in northern Slovenia.
The award ceremony, taking place in Zagorje ob Savi, was attended by Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec, who highlighted women's contribution to the development and conservation of the Slovenian countryside.
She said that women farmers were often the central pillar of farming life, taking care of the family as well as sharing their know-how and supporting agriculture businesses.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, access to education, training, the land and financial services as well as decent wage are vital for the further development of women's contribution in agriculture.
Some 9% of women in Slovenia are farm owners. Moreover, they account for 24% of the persons with an additional source of farming household income.
Pivec pointed out that a new ministerial body supporting rural women emerged in the spring, delivering proposals to improve their status and expert opinions on agriculture measures as well as raising awareness and promoting cooperation between rural women.
The share of women farmers is on the rise across the EU, with some 30% of farms being run by women on average. There are still major differences among EU countries - women are more likely to own a farm in the east and their farms' sizes are less likely to significantly differ from the ones owned by men in young EU countries.