Latest Laois News: Funding available for Laois Agri-Food Tourism
Ministers Hackett and McConalogue issues a call for proposals for Agri-Food Tourism Initiatives under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has issued a call for proposals for Agri-Food Tourism Initiatives under the 2021 Rural Innovation and Development Fund. Minister McConalogue said,
“Agri-food tourism is of great importance for rural areas. It allows rural Ireland to showcase its people, landscape, history and culture through agricultural produce, food and drink and local cuisine. 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. In this current climate with such difficult times it is more important than ever that we support and promote rural Ireland and all its attributes.”
Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Senator Pippa Hackett had this to say about the potential of agri-food tourism
“Agri-food tourism presents a real opportunity for a lot of farmers. With the current focus on domestic tourism, I think the Midlands will see an increasing number of visitors. Investment in the greenways will draw visitors, as will the development of bogs as visitor attractions. Being able to present them with the best of our locally produced food and drink will add to the attraction of the Midlands. I’m delighted to see this funding being made available.”
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.
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.