• Pippa Hackett

Kerry Eco-Social Farming EIP


I was thrilled to launch the Kerry Eco-Social Farming European Innovation Partnership (EIP) yesterday in Co. Kerry. The Kerry Eco-Social Farming project was successful under Call 5 of the EIP-AGRI projects which seeks to build links between the promotion of biodiversity and farmers, local communities and the wider public.



Building on the successes of the Kerry Social Farming initiative, the Kerry Eco-Social Farming EIP incorporates three key elements to increase biodiversity across our rural landscape and within our communities; namely creation, engagement, and monitoring. By integrating these key elements, this project will ensure active engagement with farmers and the wider community. This ultimately will facilitate the continued and enhanced delivery of the ecosystem services we all rely on for healthy lives, including clean water, carbon storage and biodiversity.


The creation of features crucial for biodiversity combined with the creation of detailed biodiversity farm maps during this EIP, will enhance the participating farmer’s understanding of biodiversity and highlight farmers’ importance as custodians of nature for the wider community.

I was delighted to be able to attend the launch and provide support for the Kerry Eco-Social Farming EIP. Community engagement and participation are central to this project. Having seen the successes of the Kerry Social Farming initiative, I am excited to have had the opportunity today to speak to service users and host farmers alike and see first-hand what this EIP is delivering both socially and environmentally as it works to further incorporate biodiversity and nature into local communities. I look forward to seeing the outputs of the Initiative which will help the work of my Department to improve our management of landscapes in innovative ways while delivering a valuable social service for local communities.


EIP-AGRI

  • EIPs have a total budget of €66 million and currently have over 3,000 farmers participating.

  • The Kerry Eco-Social Farming EIP was successful in their application to Call Five under the EIP-AGRI programme.

  • The thematic area for this call, which was launched in 2021, is “Farm and Community Biodiversity” with the purpose of promoting biodiversity through collaboration between farmers and farmer groups, community, or local action groups.

  • 24 projects were selected under this Call.

  • Projects under this Call will run for one year with a total Call budget of €2.75 million

Kerry Eco-Social Farming EIP

  • This EIP has evolved from the Kerry Social Farming (KSF) initiative. This is a locally led project established in 2013 by the South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP).

  • KSF currently operates with 30 host farms and 39 participants.

  • The Kerry Eco-Social Farming (KESF) project brings an established group of farmers and their farmland together in Kerry to deliver biodiversity in local communities.

  • KESF works with host farmers, participants from disability services and their support workers, as well as the wider community to enhance biodiversity on farms and develop understanding of biodiversity related topics to a wide range of stakeholder groups.

The main objectives of the EIP are:

  • Assess biodiversity managed area on host farms and develop a biodiversity plan for each participating farm.

  • Deliver training to host farms and participants of the KSF programme on hedgerow, wildflower and water quality management.

  • Support for implementing actions beneficial for pollinators, birds and bats.

  • Build awareness of biodiversity through host farmers, participants and service providers.

Expected outcomes:

  • Increase in areas managed for biodiversity on farms.

  • Monitoring of biodiversity on farms with future recommendations of best practice based on this.

  • Integrate a wide cohort of people, particularly those who are often not prioritised in biodiversity projects, into knowledge transfer and delivery of actions on farm.