The Scottish Government has awarded £250,000 of funding to help break down the day-to-day barriers which limit women's impact in the agricultural sector.

The funding comes as the women in agriculture taskforce publishes its one year progress report. The report highlights the need to improve access for women to relevant training, increase the presence of women in leadership roles, and encourage rural bodies to advance gender equality.

Some of the funding will be used to deliver appropriate training and develop a charter for businesses and organisations to sign up to show their support for involving more women at all levels.

Announcing the funding at the Royal Highland Show, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "It is generally accepted that the contribution of women within the farming and agricultural sectors as a whole is often overlooked. This must change and we must better recognise the vital and significant role women play in these sectors to ensure we are benefitting from the full range of skills and experience available to us.

"This report adds to the growing body of research that clearly demonstrates that equality and cohesion are beneficial to our economy. I welcome the recommendation for more women to be in leadership positions, the need to create better training pathways for women, and am interested to learn more about how an industry charter could work.

"I expect the taskforce to now take practical action towards better acknowledgement and representation of women in Scotland's agricultural sector and I have set aside £250,000m towards helping realise equal opportunity for all in a progressive farming culture."

Joyce Bannerman Campbell, Co-chair of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce said: "Over the last year we have focused on what needs to be done to empower and up-skill women within the industry, with the aim of ensuring women have the skills and confidence to take on leadership roles and fully engage in our industry in the future. Looking forward, we will explore the issue of succession planning, whether training meets the needs of women, and the potential of establishing an industry charter, which recognises good practice and equality."

Market round-up

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 1018 prime lambs in Longtown on Thursday to a top of £132 per head and 259p per kg to average 233p (-2p on the week), while 808 prime hoggs peaked at £107 and 215p to level at 179p (-8p).

The firm also had 2250 cast sheep forward when heavy ewes sold to £160 for Texels and averaged £91.90 (+£4.53), while light/export-type ewes peaked at £73 for Blackfaces and levelled at £52.82 (+22p). Rams sold to £127 for a Texel and averaged £73.95.