RISE Community Fund Partners with Macra na Feirme to Award Cash Grants to Entrepreneurial Young Farmers

Posted on 4 Nov 2022 Last updated on 8 Nov 2022

The RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) has announced a partnership with Macra na Feirme, which will see cash grants given to entrepreneurial farmers with plans to use technology in innovative ways to enhance their business.

Established by NBI Chairman and technology entrepreneur, David McCourt, RISE commenced its Community Fund earlier this year, providing monthly grants across the country to give an immediate cash injection into local communities seeking to boost their digital ecosystems. Its latest partnership with Macra na Feirme, the national community of rural youth and young farmers, has been established to award 10 grants of €1000 each specifically to successful applicants in the farming community.  

David McCourt, Chairman of NBI and founder of RISE, commented: “The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI is calling on young farmers who have ideas about how they can use technology to scale their ambition and improve the operations and output of their farm. As a global leader in agriculture, we know that Ireland boasts some of the most talented farmers in the world, and we’re hoping to champion those who have plans to use technology in new and innovative ways with the support of these cash grants.”

It was recently found that over 80% of Irish farmers now use some form of AgriTech to accelerate operations, according to a report from Ifac. In particular, Ireland's many small, family farms are turning to technology to improve their yields and profitability.

Mick Curran, Chief Executive of Macra na Feirma, commented: “Last year we were delighted to announce a partnership agreement with NBI, endorsing its role delivering the country’s National Broadband Plan, which is set to connect over 65,000 farms in the country to high-speed fibre broadband. We’re thrilled to now be taking this to the next level, partnering with RISE and NBI to offer our members the opportunity to receive cash grants to empower young farmers with their plans to use technology. We recognise that technology can have a transformational impact on farming here in Ireland, enabling efficiencies in so many ways. This is really going to accelerate these exciting use cases.”

Applications for the cash grants open on 1 November 2022 and close on 30 November 2022. “The application process has been made incredibly quick and easy, and successful applicants will be notified by early December, with money following in quick succession. We can’t wait to see the entrepreneurial ideas from Macra’s young farmers,” said Orla O’Malley, Programme Director at RISE.

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