8 July 2017
By Tom O’Sullivan
Minister Michael Creed T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today visited the Social Farming model project in South Kerry. Speaking at Hazelfort Farm, Ballymalis, Beaufort, Co. Kerry.
Minister Creed said: “My Department has provided support for social farming initiatives since 2015 under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund, including support for the development of a model project here in South Kerry.”
The Minister continued “The concept of social farming – giving people, who are availing of a range of health service supports, the opportunity to participate in farming or horticulture activities in their local area – helps participants to build confidence and improve their well-being. For participating farm families and communities, social farming has proved a very worthwhile activity. For these reasons, I want to ensure that this concept is developed and encouraged.”
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine provided funding of over €800,000 last year for social farming initiatives, with support for social farming model projects – including the Kerry Social Farming Project – and for the development of a Social Farming Network across Ireland.
The Department will provide funding totalling €720,000 in 2017 for social farming initiatives.
A competitive public procurement procedure is currently underway for at least three social farming model projects which can demonstrate a national benefit: