NEW INITIATIVES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FARM DIVERSIFICATION WHICH WILL BE PILOTED IN TIPPERARY WELCOMED – CLLR. MARTIN LONERGAN
Local Independent County Councillor for Clonmel/Cahir Borough District, Councillor Martin Lonergan has broadly welcomed two new initiatives to promote rural development and farm diversification which were launched by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD.Commenting on the initiatives Cllr. Lonergan said, “The two initiatives recently launched will be funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Commission for Economic Development for Rural Areas Innovation Fund (CEDRA). There continues to be huge untapped potential in rural Ireland which needs to be accessed. The Opt-In Initiative 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.”Explaining about the Opt-in.ie initiative Cllr Lonergan said, “This 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 our own County, Tipperary. It is then the intention to roll 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.”The second initiative, Rural Tourism, a publication aimed at guiding rural dwellers on diversification opportunities in agri-tourism was also launched. This publication, produced by Teagasc, provides important guidance which complements the resurgent interest in Irish food, heritage and holidays.“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,” concluded Cllr Lonergan.