Projects under Phase 2 of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) that focus on farm safety and farmer health and wellbeing have been announced.
Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon said the successful projects will focus on addressing challenges around farm health, safety and well-being.
“One of my priorities is the health, safety and wellbeing of our farmers, and therefore I am delighted to announce eight successful projects moving to full implementation this week to coincide with Farm Safety week,” he added.
“I am confident that the successful projects selected will be of significant benefit in the area of farmer health, safety and well-being.
“The initial budget of €1m has been increased to €1.8m to ensure the maximum number of proposals possible could move to full implementation.
“Securing this extra funding underlines my commitment as minister with responsibility for farm safety and my department’s commitment to achieving positive change in this area.”
Meanwhile, the successful projects were selected following an Open Call for proposals under EIP and include:
- FARM Connect: The Fitness, Awareness, Resilience, Meitheal (F.A.R.M) Connect Initiative will work with farmers in Roscommon and Waterford to train the farmers on physical health, mental health and wellbeing;
- Farm Family CPD (Online); This project will develop an online Health and Safety training programme to positively change people’s behaviour to mitigate risks which exist on family farms;
- Béal Átha na Muice Project will work with farmers in Mayo to explore the mental challenges and strains associated with the process of farm succession and provide supports to help the farm family to address these challenges;
- An Meitheal Feirme Project: This initiative will provide farm families affected by sudden fatalities and traumas on farms with support and guidance in the aftermath;
- Farmers Inspiring Farmers to be Safe project will adopt a pilot ‘peer-to-peer’ mentoring and champion approach to engage farmers in an attitudinal and behavioural change towards farm safety by tackling social norms around farm safety by establishing a network of trained farm mentors in counties with significant farm fatality rates ie, Cork, Tipperary and Wexford;
- Safe Farm: A project that will develop, deliver, assess and evaluate a bespoke farm safety farmer training programme using a bottom-up, participatory approach.
- The Eco-T project is a collaborative response to farmer mental health, suicide prevention and wellness that aim to promote positive mental health in the farming community through a series of facilitated eco therapy, adventure therapy, peer to peer support and stress management programmes;
- Sláinte agus Beatha Feirmoirí Conamara (SBFC): This project is aimed at promoting and enhancing on-farm health and safety at a local level on farms across the Connemara Region. It will be achieved through a series of tools including risk assessments, training programmes, radio shows and active presence in schools across the region.
The EIP initiative is co-funded by the EU Commission and the Irish Government as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP).
It involves a range of stakeholders - farmers, advisors, researchers, and NGOs - coming together in ‘Operational Groups’ to trial innovative solutions they have developed.
There is a wide range of EIP Operational Groups already in existence under Ireland's RDP, but this is the first call for projects which specifically targets farm health, safety and wellbeing.