The Department of Agriculture has announced the projects that will receive support this year under the Department’s Rural Innovation and Development Fund for initiatives to promote and develop social farming projects in rural areas.

A contract has been awarded to Leitrim Integrated Development Company CLG, following a competitive public procurement. The project will continue to develop the national social farming network known as Social Farming Ireland with funding of €400,000.

Social farming is the practice of offering, on a voluntary basis, farming and horticultural participation in a farming environment.

From a low base, predominately in the border counties of the Republic, social farming activity in Ireland has grown rapidly in the last two years.

Additional contracts

In addition, the following contracts have been extended for a period of one year with associated funding of almost €360,000:

  • South Kerry Development Partnership for the Kerry Social Farming Project; offering a choice to people with disabilities to engage with farm families and the community.
  • Leitrim Development Company for development of a Social Farming Best Practice Model; continuing the delivery of evidence-based learning, best practice and policy recommendations.
  • Down Syndrome Ireland Cork Branch for the Fields of Dreams project; a horticulture centre for adults with Down Syndrome to enable them to participate in meaningful training and to provide hands-on horticulture work opportunities.
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