Research

Kerry Social Farming is a voluntary, locally led, community based initiative.

The FARCURA project 2020

SKDP is part of FARCURA research on social farming in Europe. The FARCURA website is www.farcura.eu and has details of all project activities. Kerry Social Farming is represented within FARCURA team by Joseph McCrohan, SKDP Rural Development manager. The aim of this collaboration between educational and third sector organisations from Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Ireland has been in working together to create greater, more widespread awareness of social farming.

The National Summary Reports 2020 and Case Studies, which includes a case study on a host farm in Kerry, as well as reports on Social Farming practice in Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia is available on the website.

The project team have created a six module introduction course to social farming. This free course is now available on the website. The course looks at practical examples of social farming such as building relationships with participants and with service organisations; it provides tips on communication and conflict management; looks at the day to day organisation of activities on the farm and gives tips on the enterprise planning and business management of a social farm. The course is available in French, German, Slovenian, Portuguese and English. Each country held at National Conference during 2021 (see our NEWS page for information on the Irish Conference held in South Kerry in September).

The Final FARCURA Conference was held online on September 30th.

The partnership is delighted to announce receipt of funding from EU Erasmus Plus to continue working in social farming. The Farmelder programme, beginning in 2022, will examine the potential for developing social farming projects that address some of the challenges faced by older people across Europe.

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Social Farming (FACURA Project) - Erasmus+ Project

Kerry Social Farming is committed to engaging with Irish and European partners for the further advancement of social farming and opportunities for host farmers and participants in a wider European context. With that, SKDP is one of several partners, with Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) as lead/applicant partner, in a successful submission, Fostering inclusion through Social Farming (FARCURA Project), which has been granted European funding under the Erasmus+ Programme.

The FARCURA Project will run from October 2018 to September 2020 and aims at developing a flexible training course (workshops and E-Learning portal) for farmers; agricultural training consultants/ advisors; higher education staff; farming and social care representative bodies on the new and innovative topic of social farming.

The FARCURA project consortium consists of 8 partners from Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Belgium and Germany. The partners involved in the project are:

Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland
South Kerry Development Partnership CLG, Ireland
Zavod Grunt, Slovenia
Biotehniski center Naklo, Slovenia
Hof und Leben GmbH, Germany
Agrarsoziale Gesellschaft e.V., Germany
ADRIMAG - Associacao de Desenvolvimento Rural e Integrado das Serras de Montemuro, Arada e Gralheira, Portugal
EUROPEAN LANDOWNERS ORGANIZATION (ELO) Belgium.

Evaluation of Kerry Social Farming (KSF)

An Evaluation of Kerry Social Farming (KSF) was commissioned by the KSF working group in 2016 to review the implementation of the Project to date and to help inform its future development. The research was funded by the Department for Agriculture Food and the Marine (via Commision for Economic Development of Rural Areas Programme, Rural Innovation and Development Fund (CEDRA)) and was carried out by Dr Brendan O Keeffe (Mary Immaculate College), Dr Caroline Crowley (Crowley Independent Research) and Dr Shane O Sullivan (Limerick Institute of Technology). A link to the KSF evaluation report 2017 can be accessed here: http://www.southkerry.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Kerry-Social-Farming-Evaluation-Report-2017.pdf

Additional research which has informed both the development of social farming in Kerry as well as the evaluation report on Kerry Social Farming, include the Iveragh Uplands Report and an assessment on Rural Vibrancy in Kerry. These reports highlighted that farming has a greater societal role to play in Ireland and also have highlighted the strength of the voluntary spirit that is present in Irish rural communities.

Contact Kerry Social Farming with any queries.

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