Fostering Inclusion through social farming

FARCURA is an ERASMUS+ project that began in October 2019 and will operate across Ireland, Slovenia, Germany, Portugal and Belgium during 23 months.

One innovative approach that enhances social inclusion amongst marginalized groups within rural society is social farming. Social farming refers to the therapeutic use of farming landscapes and practices on part or all of a working farm in order to provide health, social, educational and/or vocational supports to a small number of people at risk of social exclusion.

The FARCURA project aims at equipping stakeholders (farmers, social farming representative bodies, social and health care providers, farming representative bodies) with the necessary knowledge, skill-sets and competencies to develop and enhance social farming. For that, the project will identify innovative models of social farming thereby allowing the information to be shared to farmers through a training course.

  • To ascertain the training needs and requirements for key stakeholders (host farmers / participants, service providers) involved in the various models of social farming.
  • To develop a training course syllabus and associated course materials (participants needs’ and abilities; how to communicate effectively with participants; and health and safety (risk assessments).
  • To engage with policymakers, rural development organizations and health care / social care providers with regard to replicating this innovative training programme on completion of the project.

Our Partners


Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is an institution of higher education in Limerick publicly funded by the Government of Ireland. LIT offers over 120 accredited courses across a range of disciplines, including: Information Technology, Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, Business and Art & Design. LIT also cater for craft apprentices, adult and continuing education, lifelong learning programmes. The Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Function within LIT manages its R&D activities and provides specific supports to enterprise and innovation in the region. RDI is involved in a wide range of National and EU Funding programmes with partners in Europe, USA and Internationally.


South Kerry Development Partnership CLG is an experienced rural development organisation which has successfully implemented numerous State & EU funded rural development programmes since its foundation in 1991.  It started to develop The Kerry Social Farming voluntary project in 2013 and continues to oversee its operation and growth. In 2019, over 800 social farming days were delivered by the 20 host farmers.


The Mozaic Association is actively involved in the social inclusion of vulnerable social groups in the rural region of Pomurje, Slovenia. For more than 10 years, people have been successfully integrated and employed in the field of social agriculture. We work in quality food production, revitalization of cultural heritage, environmental protection, ecotourism and social programs (care for the disabled, elderly, homeless and other vulnerable social groups).

Biotechnical Centre Naklo

Biotechnical Centre Naklo is an educational institution with 113 years of tradition. It is organized in 3 units: Secondary school, Vocational College and Research Unit and Inter-Enterprise Educational Centre covering Project Office, Adult Education Unit, Shop, Dairy and Practical Workshops.

In North-West Slovenia (Gorenjska region), Biotechnical Centre Naklo has been recognized as one of the main “generators” of the development in the region with an important synergic effect not only in the field of education, but also in joint action of economy, employment, scientific and agricultural sector. Biotechnical Centre Naklo is closely associated with various social partners and it has an important role on the regional, national and international levels implementing national and international projects as lead or equal partner in project partnerships.

Hof und Leben GmbH

Hof und Leben GmbH (HuL) was established in 2009. HuL is an independent SME focused on business consulting for family farmers. The literal translation of the companies’ name is its program: Farm and Life.

HuL is consulting in Germany in all types of agricultural business: crop cultivation, animal husbandry, production and processing of biomass for food and feed as well as for energetic or industrial purposes. New and innovative businesses aligned and aside pure farming are always a concern as well if these are deepening or broadening added value and income base of the farm. With a special focus on social and ecological aspects besides the pure economy in the planning, HUL assures sustainability of all projects realized. 


The University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde (HNEE) in Germany is a university of applied sciences that has been dedicated to sustainable research and teaching for 190 years.  The university focuses on forward-looking industries and key sectors such as renewable energies, regional management, sustainable tourism, nature conservation, forestry, organic farming, adaptation to climate change or sustainable economics.


Association for the Rural Development of the Montemuro, Arada and Gralheira Mountains – is a private and non-profit organization, created in 1991, located in Arouca, Portugal, whose primary aim is local development, promoting the local resources and taking advantage of the endogenous resources that the area offers.


The European Landowners Organization, created in 1972, is a unique federation of national associations from the EU28, which represents the interests of the landowners, land and forest managers and rural entrepreneurs at the European political level. ELO engages politically on a number of policy areas affecting the rural world by means of publications, position papers, and events.

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