Thursday, 7 November 2019
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Social Farming Initiatives
170. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will report on social farming here; the funding breakdown between Exchequer and EU sources; and the 2019 and 2020 allocations. [45863/19]
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. A number of Social Farming initiatives are currently being implemented across the country and contracts for these have recently been extended for a further year with associated funding.
My Department provided an allocation of over €713,000 for Social Farming in 2019 under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund (RIDF). All of this funding is from the Exchequer and is distributed as follows:
- The extension of the Social Farming Network Project with associated funding of €350,000 will allow Leitrim Development Company to continue to develop the network of social farming in Ireland in conjunction with the regional hubs and to progress towards sustainable commissioning arrangements for the provision of Social Farming placements.
- Funding of €119,504 is being provided to Down Syndrome Ireland (Cork Branch) for the “Field of Dreams”, 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.
- Funding of €123,000 is being provided to South Kerry Development Partnership to continue to offer a choice to people with disabilities to engage with farm families and the community in meeting their personal development goals.
- Funding of €121,000 is being provided to Leitrim Development Company for the continuation of the delivery of evidence based learning, best practice and policy recommendations which should contribute to the promotion and development of social farming in Ireland.
The 2020 allocations under the Fund have not yet been finalised.