The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD today highlighted the projects that have received funding this year under the CEDRA Rural Innovation and Development Fund totalling €804,825, for initiatives to promote and develop social farming projects in rural areas.
“I am very pleased to support a number of initiatives which will promote and develop the practice of social farming across rural Ireland” Minister Creed said. Social farming allows people, who are availing of a range of health service supports, the opportunity to participate in farming activities in their local area,” explained Creed.
“I know that working on farming and horticulture projects has helped many participants to improve their wellbeing and grow their confidence. For participating farm families, social farming has proved a very worthwhile and satisfying activity which contributes to the local community.
“Social farming initiatives are a reflection of the Irish proverb ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’ (there is no strength without unity), and I hope that my Department’s funding of social farming projects, and the establishment of a Social Farming Network, will be of real benefit to local rural communities.”
The Minister has awarded funding of €542,325 to two social farming projects as part of a competitive tender process under the CEDRA scheme.
The first project contract was awarded to the Leitrim Development Company to design, develop and implement a Social Farming Network across Ireland with funding of €400,000.
The second project was awarded to South Kerry Development Partnership with funding of €142,325 for the provision of a Social Farming Model Project with national benefits.
Two additional social farming project proposals were awarded part-funding of €250,000. Down Syndrome Ireland (Cork Branch) was awarded funding of €137,000 to develop a horticultural centre for adults with Down Syndrome. Funding of €113,000 was awarded to Leitrim Development Company, in collaboration with University College Dublin (UCD), to establish a social farming best practice project for both local and national audiences.
Finally, the Department provided sponsorship of €12,500 to Barry Kavanagh (supported by Social Farming Across Boundaries Ltd.) for his award-winning social farming garden at Bloom 2016, which helped to raise awareness and promote the concept of social farming.