A total of €820,000 is available for social farming and agri food tourism initiatives under the 2017 Rural Innovation and Development Fund.
Applicants must go through a competitive public procurement procedure to be chosen. There is €370,000 allocated for at least three social farming model projects that can demonstrate a national benefit. Social farming offers participation in farm work to people who avail of therapeutic day support services.
The Leitrim Development Company and the South Kerry Development Partnership were awarded a combined €542,325 last year.
Agri food tourism
The rest of the funding has been set aside for at least nine projects that support agri food tourism initiatives. These broadly cover activities in rural areas that offer the opportunity to visit areas of well-known produce; they may also include rural markets.
The Department of Agriculture granted 13 county councils a total of €445,000 towards tourism promotion projects centred on food and farming last year.
A request for tender, for each initiative, has been published on the eTenders website and the Official Journal of the European Union. The deadline for submission of tenders is 26 July 2017 at noon.