Agri-tourism proposals called for under rural innovation fund

A call for proposals for agri-food tourism initiatives under the 2019 Rural Innovation and Development Fund has been issued by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

Making the call, Minister Creed said: “I believe that agri-food tourism is of great importance for rural areas in order to showcase their people, landscape, history and culture through agricultural produce, food and drink and local cuisine.

“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 skills and best practice.”

The total funding available is €350,000 for projects supporting agri-food tourism initiatives – which may also include rural food markets. The maximum amount payable to any project is €25,000.

Agri-food tourism broadly is the practice of offering an activity or activities in rural areas to visit areas of well-known agricultural produce and to sample and taste the local or regional cuisine or specialties.

Agri-food tourism includes a wide variety of activities that involve the links between agriculture and the food produced at the local or regional level.

It may involve staying on farm or touring food trails and events, participation in agricultural endeavours or buying produce direct from a farm or market.

Agri-food tourism also encompasses local food, farmer and artisan market schemes that support and are paired with local and seasonal food producers and artisan crafts.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12:00pm on May 15.

Provided under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund, applications will be assessed through a competitive process for funding of proposed projects.

For those interested, applications should be made via the Call for Proposals application form which is available online here.