For Oral Answer on : 10/02/2022
Question Number(s): 124 Question Reference(s): 6790/22
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he will report on the progress achieved to date in locally-led farm safety and mental health projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Farm Health, Safety and Wellbeing EIPs Open Call was published in December 2020. Following a two-stage application process and evaluation by an expert panel, eight projects were selected for full implementation in July 2021.
The eight projects cover a range of actions to improve the safety and wellbeing of farmers and their families. Actions include developing tailored safety training programmes for farm families including younger and older members, creating peer-to-peer links within the farming community, and creating support links for farming communities that have suffered trauma or loss.
Many of these projects also include a wellbeing element which looks at the health and fitness of farmers. This includes talks around wellbeing, health expo’s and providing more access to online supports.
All projects are currently in the implementation stage. They have established the administration supports required to run the projects.
They are developing the training programmes to meet the specific needs of the projects. They are meeting with farmers, communities, and other stakeholders. They are carrying out risk assessments and developing safety statements for farms.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a decision was taken in some cases to delay training until Spring 2022. However over the coming months these projects will be fully engaged with farmers and their communities.
An important part of an EIP project is the dissemination of its learnings and results and I look forward to receiving the reports from all of the groups.