DAFM Seeks Themes For Agri Projects Under €36m Budget

A public consultation seeking potential themes for European Innovation Partnership (EIP-Agri) projects under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan 2023-2027 has been launched today (Tuesday, May 23).

The announcement was made by the Minister for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Senator Pippa Hackett.

EIP projects are locally-led schemes which are designed and implemented by collaborative groups involving farmers, scientists, ecologists and other experts to deliver specific goals, the DAFM said. 

Under the outgoing CAP there were 57 such projects ranging from themes such as climate, biodiversity, water, farm-safety, animal welfare and archaeology.

Launching the public consultation, Minister Hackett said: “I am committed to continuing to fund new EIP‘s under Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan 2023–2027.

“We have ringfenced an indicative budget of €36 million for this and we are now seeking suggestions for themes, which may be developed further for potential calls for proposals for EIPs later this year.”

The 57 projects previously supported by the DAFM, recruited via five open calls and two targeted tenders, tackled challenges in the agri-sector, including the Hen Harrier, upland farming, bumble bees, and farm health and safety.

EIP-Agri Projects

EIPs are “fertile ground” for practices that aim to address daily issues faced by farmers and farm families, and may improve the environment, animal welfare and the livelihoods of those that work to provide quality food, Minister Hackett said.

EIP projects are supported across two streams, and short submissions are sought on:

  • Stream A: Projects addressing wider competitiveness, modernisation and animal health and welfare challenges in the sector; and/or
  • Stream B: Projects on areas related to environmental, biodiversity and climate change challenges.

The survey is open from today and will remain open until midnight on Monday, June 12, 2023. A link to the survey can be found on the DAFM’s website under the search term “EIP”.

The results from existing EIPs have informed the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) to include a results-based element to reward farmers for their environmental ambition, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said.

“EIPs have proven to be a really successful model of farming communities working together with other stakeholders,” Minister McConalogue added.

Projects, now more than ever, will be needed to drive innovation at local, rural, regional and national levels to our big environmental and agricultural challenges, the minister said.

“The model of EIPs has worked well in piloting innovative solutions to address challenges around farm health, safety and wellbeing, and encouraging a change in behaviour from the bottom up in relation to farm safety.

“This needs to be driven on further and I hope to see anyone with an interest in farmer safety and wellbring make their voice heard in this consultation,” Minister of State at the DAFM, Martin Heydon commented.

It is intended to open a call for proposals on a selected theme or themes later this year, with the possibility of further calls during the programming period, the DAFM said.

(Source – Agriland – Rubina Freiberg – 23/05/2023)

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