18 September 2017
By Tom Collins
The Cork based Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD has announced the six projects that will receive funding this year from his Department, under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund, for initiatives to promote and develop agri-food tourism in rural areas.
Minister Creed said “I am pleased to support a number of exciting initiatives across the country in the vibrant sector of agri-food tourism. Food Wise 2025 highlights the natural synergy between agri-food and local tourism. I believe that agri-food tourism is of great importance for rural areas in order to showcase their people, landscape, history and culture through agricultural produce, food and drink, and local cuisine. In addition, it provides opportunities for rural businesses, including farmers, producers and artisans, to develop their products and services, connect with the community and visitors to an area, and improve skills and best practice”.
The Minister has awarded funding of over €277,000 across six separate agri-food tourism initiatives, following a competitive process under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund. The agri-food tourism projects also encompass local food, farmer and artisan market schemes that support local and seasonal food producers and artisan crafts.
Agri-food tourism broadly is the practice of touring rural areas to visit areas of well-known agricultural produce and to sample and taste the local or regional produce or cuisine. Agri-tourism includes a wide variety of activities that may also involve staying on farm, participation in agricultural endeavours or buying produce direct from a farm or market.
The successful projects were selected by an evaluation committee with members from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Bord Bia and Fáilte Ireland following a competitive procurement process.
Funding, based on vouched expenditure, has been committed to the following successful projects: