The FLIARA Project has garnered recognition in the Winter 2023 edition of TResearch Vol. 18 Magazine by Teagasc. The collaborative efforts of Teagasc and the lead coordinator, the University of Galway, are part of a broader initiative spanning various partners across the European Union.
Addressing Challenges, Unleashing Potential
The FLIARA Project aligns with the European Commission’s Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas, responding to challenges such as demographic shifts, economic disparities, and limited access to essential services. Amidst the complexities introduced by climate change, gender inequalities, and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, FLIARA stands out as a beacon for transformative action.
A Paradigm Shift: Female-Led Innovation
Historically marginalised, the role of rural women in employment, enterprise, and innovation is now taking centre stage. FLIARA, short for ‘Female-Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas,’ introduces a groundbreaking methodology to enhance our understanding of the vital role played by women in shaping a sustainable rural future.
Anne Kinsella, Senior Research Officer at Teagasc, highlights FLIARA’s objective: “To develop more effective policy and governance frameworks capable of supporting and enhancing the capacity of rural women to contribute significantly to this transformative process.”
Building an Inclusive Ecosystem
FLIARA aspires to create a pan-European ecosystem that champions and supports women-led innovations in farming and rural areas. This inclusive project encompasses women from diverse backgrounds, ensuring representation across age, class, culture, race, and ethnicity. The goal is to integrate women into a more effective innovation ecosystem, highlighting achievements, fostering networks, and increasing visibility in decision-making arenas.
A Systematic Approach to Innovation
Structured into six distinct work packages, the FLIARA Project adopts a systematic approach to achieve its goals. These include understanding current women-led innovations, envisioning the future role of women in sustainable farming, analysing specific innovations, and identifying ways to increase the capacity of rural women.
Maura Farrell, associate professor of Geography at the University of Galway, explains the depth and diversity of the project: “The FLIARA project will delve into the pathways and challenges faced by women in farming and rural innovation through a series of case studies across ten partner countries.”
Diverse Consortiums Driving Change
The FLIARA consortium comprises a diverse group of organisations with expertise in agriculture, rural development, and gender equality. With partners spanning universities, European networks, national agricultural agencies, community organisations, and SMEs across ten EU countries, the consortium is poised to make significant strides in empowering women in agriculture and rural areas.
As the FLIARA Project progresses, it promises to challenge gender norms, foster innovation, and create a more inclusive and sustainable future for rural communities. By contributing valuable insights, policy recommendations, and a platform for knowledge sharing, FLIARA aims to make women-led innovations the norm in farming and rural development across Europe.
Read more about the FLIARA Project in the TResearch Winter 2023 edition here.