The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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.

Following a competitive public procurement procedure for a Social Farming Network, a contract has been awarded to Leitrim Integrated Development Company CLG to continue to develop the national Social Farming Network known as “Social Farming Ireland” with funding of €400,000.

In addition to the Social Farming Network, 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’ – to continue to offer a choice to people with disabilities to engage with farm families and the community in meeting their personal development goals.
  • Leitrim Development Company for development of a ‘Social Farming Best Practice Model’ – to continue the delivery of evidence-based learning, best practice and policy recommendations which will contribute to the promotion and development of social farming in Ireland.
  • 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 in a secure, caring and inspirational environment.