10 February 2000
Women reshape farm businesses

WOMEN are taking the initiative in starting up new farm enterprises, a conference will be told on Thursday (10 February).

As farmers are told they can no longer rely on food production for income, more than one-third of new enterprises on farms are founded and managed by women.

This trend is recognised at the Women in Rural Enterprise conference being held at Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire.

Senior Harper Adams lecturer Izzy Warren-Smith told the Radio 4Farming Today programme that women face obstacles, as they tend not to be taken as seriously as men.

However, she said farming women were often more enterprising than their menfolk, as they were out and about more in the marketplace where they could identify a niche.

Cabinet minister Mo Mowlam heads the list of speakers.