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Ministers Coveney & Phelan Announce Plans for Female Rural Entrepreneur and Social Farming Initiatives Under CEDRA

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney and Minister of State for Rural Economic Development, Ann Phelan have announced that their Department will be issuing two calls for tender in 2016 under the CEDRA Rural Innovation and Development Fund. These will be the first supports launched from the 2016 fund, which has a total value of €1.5m.  Further supports for other initiatives are due to roll out later in the year.

The first initiative will provide funding to develop aspiring female entrepreneurs in rural areas. “I know that there are many rural women with good business ideas” Minister Phelan said, “and support in the early stages of setting up a business is particularly valuable.”

The second initiative will provide funding to advance social farming in rural areas, which is the practice of offering voluntary but structured work experience on farms, to people who avail of a range of day support services.   This initiative will target projects with a national impact, and must be of a sufficient scale to have strategic, long term benefit.  Minister Coveney said “Minister Phelan and I agree on the need to support and encourage social farming, which provides many benefits to both service users and the farmers providing the service, but also to our wider society”

A prior information notice will be published on the eTenders website and the Official Journal of the European Union shortly. It is expected that a competitive public procurement process to determine the allocation of funding will commence before the summer.

Note for Editors

CEDRA is the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas and its report is being implemented by the Dept. of the Environment, Community and Local Government.  €1.5 million of current expenditure has been provided by DAFM in 2016 under the CEDRA Rural Development and Innovation Fund for pilot innovative projects which progress the potential identified by the CEDRA process.

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 20/2016 (pdf 364Kb) 

Date Released: 19 February 2016