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CEDRA - Social Farming

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, have extended four contracts supporting social farming for 2019/20. Funding is being provided under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund to the following projects. 

  • Social Farming Network across Ireland (Leitrim Development Company)
  • Social Farming Model Project  (Leitrim Development Company)
  • Social Farming Model Project  (Down Syndrome Irl (Cork Branch)
  • 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.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced a competitive public procurement procedure under the 2020 Rural Innovation and Development Fund for a Social Farming Network. Total funding of €400,000 for 2020 is being made available for the provision of supports for a National Social Farming Network.  This RFT relates to the engagement of services for the development and implementation of a tailored work programme in support of social farming at national level.

A Request for Tender (RFT) was published on 20th February 2020 on the eTenders website (no. 165866) and is now closed.