New initiatives to promote rural development and farm diversification

Leonie McKiernan

Reporter:

Leonie McKiernan

New initiatives to promote rural development and farm diversification

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD

Two new initiatives to promote rural development and farm diversification were launched today by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD. The two initiatives are funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the CEDRA Innovation Fund.

Speaking from the Ploughing Championships in Screggan, where he launched the scheme, Minister Doyle said “There is huge untapped potential in rural Ireland. Opt-In will help equip rural dwellers with the information on training and up-skilling opportunities to help them to diversify their sources of income, and importantly to make the right choices for themselves and their families. I warmly welcome this initiative, funded by my Department under the CEDRA Innovation Fund” said Minister Doyle

Opt-in.ie

Opt-in.ie is a new website which provides information on local training and diversification opportunities for rural families. The website www.opt-in.ie was developed by Teagasc and contains advice in relation to training, skills development, and business development and diversification opportunities.  The portal is being piloted for two counties - Limerick and Tipperary - with the intention of rolling it out nationwide in 2017.

The web portal will include regularly updated content on skills training, diversification and business development opportunities, provided to rural families by different providers including Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Training Boards, Local Development Companies, Skillsnet and Teagasc.

 

Rural Tourism

Minister Doyle also launched Rural Tourism, a publication aimed at guiding rural dwellers on diversification opportunities in agri-tourism. This publication, produced by Teagasc, provides important guidance which complements the resurgent interest in Irish food, heritage and holidays.
Minister Doyle said “Rural Tourism is a perfect way to encourage tourist footfall out of the towns and cities. There is such diversity in rural Ireland’s visitor activities and attractions, as well as in our specialist farm food producers. This publication provides important guidance which complements the resurgent interest in Irish food, heritage and holidays”.