Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2026)

Danny Healy-Rae


2026. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if further funding will be provided for the social farming scheme to include more persons with disabilities in County Kerry and nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32853/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An allocation of over €710,000 is being provided for Social Farming in 2019 under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund (RIDF).

A number of Social Farming initiatives are currently being implemented across the country including the development and implementation of the national Social Farming Network by Leitrim Development Company in collaboration with other Local Development Companies. A number of social farming model projects are also underway. These include:

- South Kerry Development Partnership for the ‘Kerry Social Farming Project’

- Down Syndrome Ireland Cork Branch for phase 2 of the ‘Fields of Dreams’ project

- Leitrim Integrated Development Company for a ‘Social Farming Best Practice Model’

The contracts awarded under Social Farming for the national Social Farming Network and the development of social farming model projects are due to expire later this year. However, under the terms of the contract they can be extended for a further year.

Social Farming is available to people who use health and social services, including disability and mental health services. If commissioners or advocates of these services wish to explore Social Farming for their clients, they should make contact with the National Social Farming Office or the Regional Development Officer for their area. Contact details are available at – www.socialfarmingireland.ie/contact.