Two new projects, partnerships between NUI Galway and Teagasc have been funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) Research Stimulus Fund (RSF). The funding is part of grant awards in excess of €6 million for research projects being undertaken, on a collaborative basis, by researchers from Institutions across the island of Ireland, which was recently announced by Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The ‘Joint Ventures to Enhance the Demographic Profile and Socio-Economic Sustainability of Irish Farming’ (Join-to-Farm) project aims to explore how a broader range of joint farming ventures, have potential to enhance the sustainability of Irish agriculture. These ventures help different stakeholders to work together. The project involves social scientists: Dr Áine Macken-Walsh, Project Leader, Teagasc; Dr Kevin Heanue, Teagasc; Dr Anne Byrne, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; and Professor Michael Ward and Dr Olive McCarthy of UCC.
The second project, ‘Understanding and Facilitating Farmers Adoption of Technologies’ (Agile-Tech), seeks to develop an understanding of how technology is used by farmers, in the first place, and then on an ongoing basis. The project involves social scientists: Dr Kevin Heanue, Project Leader, Teagasc; Dr Áine Macken-Walsh, Teagasc; Ann Lyons, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI, Galway; Mary O’Reilly-de Brún, Centre for Participatory Strategies; and Tomás de Brún, Centre for Participatory Strategies.
Dr Anne Byrne, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway, said: “Collaborative scholarship and innovative, inclusive research methodologies enhance not only our understanding of how complex ideas, practices and processes intersect, but crucially stack the odds in favour of good outcomes for those who are at the heart of the projects – farmers.”