A call has been issued from the government for proposals for agri-food tourism initiatives under the 2021 Rural Innovation and Development Fund.

Making the call, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said: “Agri-food tourism is of great importance for rural areas.

“Funding under this scheme allows rural businesses, including farmers, producers and artisans, to develop their products and services, connect with the community and visitors and improve the rural experience.”

The total funding available is €275,000 for projects supporting agri-food tourism initiatives (which may also include rural food markets). The maximum amount payable to any project is €25,000.

The deadline for submissions s 12:00pm on Friday, March 5, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

What is agri-food tourism?

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.

This form of 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.

Applications should be made via the Call for Proposals application form which is available on the gov.ie website.