11 agri-food tourism projects to share in almost €200,000 funding

11 agri-food tourism projects will share in almost €200,000 worth of funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The department confirmed today, Wednesday, June 10, that after a call for proposals that was announced in January of this year, a number of projects have been selected to share in funding that amounts to exactly €197,500.

This figure is in excess of the available amount that was put forward in January, which was €190,000.

The successful projects/recipients – and the amounts allocated – are as follows:

  • Carlow County Council (Ireland South East Agri-Food Tourism Cluster) – €12,987;
  • Achill Island Sea Salt – €10,800;
  • Galway County Council (Discover Galway Food Experiences) – €25,000;
  • Cavan County Council (Cavan Food Network) – €12,987;
  • O’Connell Marketing/Taste Wexford – €12,987;
  • Waterford County Council Festival of Food – €24,802.75;
  • Sligo Food Trail – €17,500;
  • Drumshambo Community Council (Taste Leitrim Food and Drink Experiences) – €22,750;
  • Bia Innovator Campus, Athenry (Food and Agricultural Experiences) – €25,000;
  • Drinks Ireland (Irish Whiskey Association/Irish Whiskey 360) – €13,744.85;
  • Strandhill Peoples Market – €18,942.

Commenting today, Minister Michael Creed said: “During these unprecedented times, I am pleased to support these initiatives in the agri-food tourism sector and build on progress already made. Food Wise 2025 highlights the natural synergy between agri-food tourism and local tourism.

“I believe that agri-tourism is of great importance for rural areas in order to showcase their people, landscape, history and culture though agricultural produce, food, drink and local cuisine,” the minister added.

He concluded: “In addition, it provides opportunities for rural businesses, including farmers, producers and artisans, to develop their products and services; connect with the community and visitors; and improve their skills and best practice.”

‘Badly needed’

Responding to today’s announcement by the department, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) welcomed it, saying the funding is “badly needed”.

This follows calls from the association this week for people who are holidaying in the countryside this summer (while adhering to the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines on travel) to consider staying at farm guesthouses.

“Grants such as these contribute to the development of a vibrant agri-tourism sector. Rural Ireland has been hard hit as a result of Covid-19, so these monies are badly needed,” said Brian Rushe, the IFA’s deputy president.

“I urge Minister Creed to ensure that these grants are paid out without delay,” Rushe concluded.