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CEDRA - Social Farming

Following a competitive tendering process run by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the funds allocated to the Rural Innovation and Development Fund to support social farming were awarded to the subsequent two proposals:

  • Social Farming Network across Ireland (Leitrim Development Company)
  • Social Farming Model Project for Ireland (South Kerry Development Partnership)

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. These operations are run in a number of settings ranging from working family farms, local community initiatives through to more institutional frameworks and are widely practiced across Europe.

Experience has shown that well run operations provide an opportunity for inclusion for disadvantaged groups to increase their self esteem and improve health and well-being. When operating from a working family farm, these initiatives support farm diversification and help farmers connect with the wider community. From a Government perspective, they also provide a collaborative framework for different Departments and agencies to work together.