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CEDRA - 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. Agri-food tourism may involve staying on farm or touring food trails and events, participation in agricultural endeavours or buying produce direct from a farm or market.  It also encompasses local food, farmer and artisan market schemes that support and are paired with local and seasonal food producers and artisan crafts.  The development of agri-food trails allows promotion of regional or specialist cuisines, the growth and development of local or regional food and drink producers, traders and artisans whilst supporting diversification of rural producers within a wider framework of tourism. These operations are run in a number of settings ranging from working family farms, local community initiatives through to more institutional frameworks at the County or inter-County level.  Experience has shown that well run operations provide an opportunity for inclusion of agricultural produce, local food artisans and producers, and local rural markets into tourism more broadly. These initiatives support farm and local community diversification and help farmers connect with the wider community. From a Government perspective, they provide a collaborative framework for different Departments and agencies to work together.

An allocation of €350,000 is available for 2019 as part of a funding framework.  The 2019 allocation aims to develop and expand capacity for agri-food tourism and build on the previous projects and learning. A call for proposals under the 2019 Rural Innovation and Development Fund for Agri-Food Tourism Initiatives is now being launched with a closing date of 12 noon on 15 May 2019. Funding is available for projects with a maximum of €25,000 (incl VAT) being awarded to any one project.  Applications should be submitted on the attached form to RIDF@agriculture.gov.ie.