Minister Creed hopes the funding will be of "real benefit" to rural communities
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed announced over €800,000 in funding today for a 'social farming network', as well as other agricultural projects.
Several projects 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.
The Minister awarded funding of over €540,000 to two social farming projects under the CEDRA scheme - one to the Leitrim Development Company with funding of €400,000, and another to the South Kerry Development Partnership with funding of over €140,000.
"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.
"I know that working on farming and horticulture projects has helped many participants to improve their well-being 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 is the practice of offering, on a voluntary basis, farming and horticultural participation in a farming environment as a choice to people who avail of a range of therapeutic day support services.
For example, the Cork Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland was also awarded funding of €137,000 to develop a horticultural centre for adults with Down Syndrome.