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€820,000 boost for agri-food tourism and social farming

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has revealed that social farming model projects and agri-food tourism initiatives will be allocated a total of €820,000 in funding this year.

The department recently announced application details for social farming and agri-food tourism initiatives under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund.

A competitive public procurement procedure has been put in place for applicants. Those wishing to apply for funding under either initiative will have until 12:00pm on Wednesday, July 26, to submit a tender.

€370,000 in funding will be available for at least three social farming model projects that can demonstrate a national benefit, while €450,000 will also be available for at least nine projects supporting agri-food tourism; this funding will be open to rural markets.

Earlier this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, pledged his support for number of initiatives that aimed to promote and develop the practice of social farming across rural Ireland.

Social farming offers participation in farm work to people who avail of therapeutic day support services.

In 2016, the Leitrim Development Company and the South Kerry Development Partnership were awarded a combined €542,325, as part of a competitive tender process under the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas scheme.

A request for tender, for each initiative, has been published on the eTenders website and the Official Journal of the European Union. The deadline for submission of tenders is 26 July 2017 at noon.