Rural farming – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ Tue, 10 May 2022 13:58:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://indicerural.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Rural farming – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ 32 32 BRAC Bank organizes a workshop on financing solutions and insurance facilities for cattle farming https://indicerural.com/brac-bank-organizes-a-workshop-on-financing-solutions-and-insurance-facilities-for-cattle-farming/ Tue, 10 May 2022 09:55:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/brac-bank-organizes-a-workshop-on-financing-solutions-and-insurance-facilities-for-cattle-farming/

BRAC Bank held an awareness workshop for its sales team in Chattogram on livestock finance and insurance facilities for cattle farming entrepreneurs.

The workshop was meant to train its field staff on the benefits of the finance facility and how it can help farmers grow their livestock business, a press release read.

SM Alomgir Hossain, Head of Small Business, East; Biplab Kumar Biswas, Head of Underwriting, Small Business (North and South); Md Ariful Islam, Head of Underwriting, Small Business, (South); Mesbah Uddin Muntassir, Senior HR Business Partner, SME, Legal and Recovery; and SM Saiful Islam, Agricultural Finance Manager of BRAC Bank, attended the workshop while Syed Abdul Momen, Deputy Managing Director and Head of SME Banking; joined him virtually.

The Bank’s Regional Manager, Territory Managers, Area Credit Managers, Business Development Managers from Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati and Khagrachhari attended the workshop which was held at Well Park Hotel in Chattogram April 2nd. Tasvir Ahmed, AVP; and Ariful Islam; AVP; of Green Delta Insurance, were also present.

Previously, BRAC Bank partnered with Green Delta Insurance Company Limited, Swisscontact, Embassy of Switzerland, Microinsurance Market Development Program (BMMDP/Surokkha) to launch livestock insurance services for pastoralists in rural areas. The project will help 600 farmers with a unique litter of 1,600 cattle.

To ensure the financial viability and long-term sustainability of this delicate business, BRAC Bank & Green Delta Insurance Company Limited, supported by Swisscontact earlier, organized a series of outreach programs to spread knowledge about efficient farming among breeders. The bank also organized the staff sensitization workshop in Dinajpur.

This insurance coverage will boost the country’s cattle industry and encourage more people to take up commercial farming on a larger scale, thereby creating jobs and reducing poverty.

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Rural connectivity still holding back UK agriculture, survey finds https://indicerural.com/rural-connectivity-still-holding-back-uk-agriculture-survey-finds/ Mon, 09 May 2022 15:03:08 +0000 https://indicerural.com/rural-connectivity-still-holding-back-uk-agriculture-survey-finds/ Lack of action to improve rural connectivity is holding back food production and farming in the UK, reports the National Farmers’ Union.

The NFU’s new digital technology survey reveals that greater broadband and mobile connectivity is needed to meet the needs of modern food and agriculture businesses.

Respondents emphasized that rural areas should have access to the same level of digital services and infrastructure as urban areas, including better speed, coverage and reliability. This reinforces the NFU’s call for the government to prioritize digital connectivity in rural areas as part of its plan to upgrade the country.

NFU Vice President David Exwood said: “This survey makes for a very disappointing read. It shows that very little progress has been made over the past year to increase levels of broadband and mobile access in rural areas despite government promises to bring the country up to speed. This lack of digital connectivity is a huge drain on time and efficiency, as we work efficiently with one arm tied behind our back.

“Agriculture, like any other business, needs access to reliable broadband and mobile connections. They are essential to running modern food and agriculture businesses, impacting everything from access to data and use of technology to communicating with suppliers and keeping workers safe on the farm.

“Yet poor connectivity remains a real problem for farmers across the country as they work hard to increase efficiency and productivity in the face of rising costs. This puts agricultural businesses at a disadvantage, ultimately preventing us from increasing the production of sustainable and affordable British food for domestic and overseas markets.

“If the government is serious about leveling the country, it must step up its efforts now to deliver better digital services to rural areas and bridge the digital divide, which in turn will help rural communities thrive.”

The survey interviewed 846 NFU farmer and grower members between December 9, 2021 and March 13, 2022.

The survey showed that only 44% of respondents said their phone signal was sufficient for their business needs.

Eighty-three percent are unable to get a reliable mobile signal in all outdoor locations on the farm, while 38 percent found the broadband speeds sufficient for their business needs.

Thirty percent have download speeds below 2 Mbps and 49% have upload speeds below 10 Mbps. Only 24% have access to ultra-fast download speeds of over 24 Mbps.

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Varadkar says no farmer will be told to stop farming or reduce herd size https://indicerural.com/varadkar-says-no-farmer-will-be-told-to-stop-farming-or-reduce-herd-size/ Sun, 08 May 2022 18:30:08 +0000 https://indicerural.com/varadkar-says-no-farmer-will-be-told-to-stop-farming-or-reduce-herd-size/

No farmer will be told to stop farming or reduce herd size in order to meet tough climate change targets, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told a Fine Gael conference on the agriculture and rural Ireland.

He said Ireland would take “reasonable” steps to meet the government’s target of a 51 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030.

Mr Varadkar was speaking at a day-long seminar in Tullamore, Co Offaly on Saturday attended by more than 400 party members, including a large number of party ministers, TDs and senators.

Asked at a press conference about recent research which predicted that to meet the 30% sector cut for agriculture, some 50,000 jobs would be lost in agriculture and sector losses would be £4 billion euros a year, he said he didn’t necessarily agree with that. prediction. “The agriculture sector is actually being asked for the lowest reduction of any sector,” he replied.

“No one will be told their car is going to be confiscated. No one will be told their factory is going to close. No foreign investor who wants to invest in Ireland will be told they are not welcome.

“No farmer will be told to stop farming or reduce the number of cattle or animals they own. So you know what I really want to say to people as a message of reassurance, we’re going to set goals and we’ll do whatever we can to achieve whatever makes sense.

“But (we won’t) as it would lead to a reduction in the food we produce. It will make no sense in a world where there are people who need to be fed every day,” he said.

Carbon farming

During the day-long seminar there were sessions on markets, security, climate action and new economic opportunities for rural Ireland, with discussions exploring micro-generation, solar farming as well as carbon farming.

Mr Varadkar said it is the responsibility of society to ensure that we can have farmers with better incomes and more stable incomes.

“The best way to achieve this is to allow farmers to have several sources of income. They include carbon farming, as many industries would be willing to pay farmers to offset carbon.

“And then there is microgeneration which offers huge opportunities to give farmers a stable source of additional income.

“Farmers tell me they want to do this, they want to get into micro-generation, they want to put solar panels on the roofs and they want the government to facilitate this. For this, it is essential to put in place a tariff or a minimum payment that makes this viable for the farmers so that there is a return on investment for them.

Scandal

Proposed regulations to ban the commercial sale of turf from September stormed the ranks of coalition partners Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael last month, with ministers and backbench MPs expressing anger over to this decision.

Asked about the turf problem, he said it was not solved yet. Mr Varadkar said there was a need to reduce the number of pollutants in the air in rural Ireland as well as in urban areas.

That said, he added that it was necessary to find a compromise solution.

“We are clear as a party that people who have the right to cut grass will be protected, there is no doubt about it, as well as people who have traditionally given grass to neighbors and friends, or even sold grass. small-scale grass in their communities.

He said turf distribution like this was really happening on a ‘de minimis’ level and was not really the cause of air pollution. “We just have to get it right and don’t want a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

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Historic photos of Edinburgh show the farming past of the capital’s western communities https://indicerural.com/historic-photos-of-edinburgh-show-the-farming-past-of-the-capitals-western-communities/ Sat, 07 May 2022 17:06:26 +0000 https://indicerural.com/historic-photos-of-edinburgh-show-the-farming-past-of-the-capitals-western-communities/

West Edinburgh is known for its green residential areas which are teeming with local businesses.

But what many locals forget is that the area was once made up mostly of farmland and its associated businesses.

Corstorphine as a rural village only officially joined Edinburgh in the 1920s as part of the capital’s expansion plans.

At that time the small village, together with the areas of Broomhouse, East Craigs and South Gyle, was mainly agricultural land.

New photos from the Corstorphine Trust archives, which have been shared with Edinburgh Liveshow the area as it once was.

The images, which range from the 1930s to the 1960s, illustrate the rural history of the now residential communities.

In the first image shared, a farmer can be seen leading his sheep on Sycamore Terrace heading north towards Bowling Green in 1930.

The houses to the right of the picture are said to still be there.



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The Shepherd’s Head is just over the corner of the Bowling Green wall with a spotted cottage in the back center.

The second image appears to show the Gylemuir Road pigsties and dairies.

The Trust believe the image was taken from the roof or a high-level window of the Back of Lamonts (Securex) building which was once the site of PC World.



Shepherd leading his flock at Corstorphine.
Shepherd leading his flock at Corstorphine.

The photo, believed to have been taken in the early 1960s, looks south and the houses downstairs are at street level in Gylemuir Road, roughly where electric car charging stations are placed in the car park Tesco.

These pigsties and logs were long, narrow strips of land.

The bands reached Gylemuir Road on what is now the Tesco car park and stopped around where the Tesco petrol station is now.



The former pigsties and dairies located near the current location of the Tesco hypermarket.
The former pigsties and dairies located near the current location of the Tesco hypermarket.

In the middle of the picture you can make out the Weterbroom houses and the school.

The next place is “selling pigs”.

After the Second World War, Mr. Willie Gray of South Gyle Farm established a remarkable herd of “big white hogs” – “The Gyle Herd”.



Annual Sale Draft of Mr. Willie Gray of South Gyle Farm.
Annual Sale Draft of Mr. Willie Gray of South Gyle Farm.

These pigs have won championships all over the UK.

The annual draft sales were held in May each year, and the photo is of the draft sale on Thursday 24 May 1951 at South Gyle Farm.

The man in the dark suit is Willie Gray and the man next to him in the white coat and black hat, holding a book, is the auctioneer.



Picking potatoes at Broomhouse.
Picking potatoes at Broomhouse.

The sale that day had 65 tuberculin-tested Large White IN-Pig gilts and eight tuberculin-tested Large White boars.

Next we have an image from 1953 which shows potato picking on fields which are now filled with Broomhall houses.

The gray slate roofs behind the horse are the cottages on Ladywell Avenue which are next to the lane that crosses Dovecot Road.



Crop being collected at East Craigs.
Crop being collected at East Craigs.

The final image shows the farmers field in East Craigs where a farmer harvests a crop.

The image resembles the Mid Yoken pub emblem found on Craigmount Brae today.

Numerous farms, dairies, piggeries and market gardens existed until the 1970s.

Let us know if you remember any of the businesses or sites from your childhood.

]]> In pictures: CAFRE students attend the “Job opportunities in agriculture” event https://indicerural.com/in-pictures-cafre-students-attend-the-job-opportunities-in-agriculture-event/ Fri, 06 May 2022 13:19:19 +0000 https://indicerural.com/in-pictures-cafre-students-attend-the-job-opportunities-in-agriculture-event/

More than 30 agricultural companies presented the range of positions and career opportunities available in the sector.

Exhibitors also took the opportunity to meet students interested in internship opportunities, with a wide range of opportunities available.

Joe Mulholland, the event organizer and Head of Higher and Higher Education Internships at CAFRE, said, “We were delighted to welcome over 200 students to the event, which included over 90 jobs posted on the “jobs wall”.

“Events like this provide an important platform for employers to meet face-to-face with CAFRE students seeking internships and those seeking career opportunities.”

During the morning event, students were treated to free breakfast and a drink, sponsored by the Ulster Farmers Union.

Martin McKendry, Head of CAFRE College, said, “We are very grateful to UFU for partnering with this event, which will give agriculture graduates of all levels the jumpstart in their careers.

“The range of roles is truly exceptional – from jobs in production agriculture with options for sharecropping agreements, to higher education programs with leading agricultural companies.

“The future is very bright for all of our graduates.”

Companies had HR staff available to explain roles and application procedures.

Company representatives provided fantastic feedback and were thrilled to meet so many potential employees at one event.

Derek Lough, UFU Membership Director, added: “Thank you to the entire CAFRE team for putting on a fantastic event and inviting us to be a part of it.

“We’ve had so many positive conversations with students about their future work opportunities in the agriculture industry.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s event,” he concluded.

For more information on the range of agriculture courses offered at CAFRE, from Level 2 to the BSc (Hons) degree, visit www.cafre.ac.uk

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The closing date for EFS applications is approaching https://indicerural.com/the-closing-date-for-efs-applications-is-approaching/ Fri, 06 May 2022 09:21:34 +0000 https://indicerural.com/the-closing-date-for-efs-applications-is-approaching/

The EFS Higher Tranche 6 agreements are scheduled to begin on January 1, 2023 and run for five years until December 31, 2027.

If the number of applications exceeds the funding available, the applications will be ranked and those offering the greatest environmental benefit will be selected.

You are encouraged to apply for the EFS and do not commit to the program until you have returned a signed agreement to DAERA.

Register to our daily newsletter Farming Life Today

It also offers the possibility for farmers, whose agreements will expire in December, to reapply for the scheme, which they are encouraged to do.

EFS Higher Level provides participants with annual payments to help bring our most important environmental sites under supportive management, and is for land with environmental designations, such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Areas of Scientific Interest (ASSI), and other priority habitat areas.

You can check if your land is eligible via DAERA’s online services.

Only companies with eligible “superior” fields will be able to submit a superior EFS application.

For more information on the EFS, visit the DAERA website at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/rural-development/environmental-farming-scheme-efs

If you need help completing your application, you can call the EFS Advice Service on 0300 200 7848.

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Youth trained in agriculture – Malawi 24 https://indicerural.com/youth-trained-in-agriculture-malawi-24/ Thu, 05 May 2022 13:39:56 +0000 https://indicerural.com/youth-trained-in-agriculture-malawi-24/

A non-governmental organization called “Conserve with Benefits” trained young people in farming practices that are more resilient to climate change.

The young people in this training come from Ukwe EPA, TA Kabudula in Lilongwe district.

Speaking in an interview, Conserve with Benefits team leader Collins Mittochi said he noted that many young people in rural areas are unemployed and most of them have nothing to do, so farming can be a way for them to have something and that’s why they introduced the concept to make sure that young people are well educated on the best way to do farming.

“Our farm here is a test for young people where we are implementing different experimental farming practices that are more resilient to climate change. So we ended up here in Ukwe simply because we saw a lot of young people relying a lot on the environment, especially trees to cut them down for charcoal production.

“We thought it was wise to give them an alternative that they can do on their own after our training and everything. So we introduced this concept here so that young people can train proper farming practices and later they can implement their farms and also involve some of their friends and families in the practice,” Mittochi said.

Mittochi also praised the youth in the community saying that the youth are so hard-working and motivated to embrace some of the trainings they do.

“We started with only 30 but we only had 6 dropouts for different reasons, but the rest are still committed to the project. In fact, what you have seen here is rainfed agriculture, next month we are going to start our winter crops so all are still motivated to be with us. As for the percentage yield, we can believe that we will get 70% of the yields we expect,” said Mittochi.

In his remarks, Agricultural Extension Methodology Officer, Webster Jassi, said he was impressed with the organization as it has been successful in attracting young people into agriculture, as agriculture is naturally believed to be for people. old people and not young people.

“This means agricultural productivity will remain sustainable and again we will reduce unemployment if we involve more young people in agricultural production,” Jassi said.

Jassi further added that it is very important for the farmers nowadays to use the improved agricultural technologies which are recommended by the ministry of agriculture and which are effectively applied by the youths of the youth trial farm. .

He added that farmers should at least adopt the spirit of being close to the extension officers who are the guardians of all these technologies so that productivity increases for the sake of their livelihoods.

Yosefe, one of the youths at the youth trial farm, said he had benefited a lot from the organization and had gained experience and learned different farming practices.

The organization is currently working in two countries, Malawi and Kenya with the same project and has managed to train and work with 24 young people in T/A Kabudula Ukwe EPA.

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YouTube farming couple based in Tap O’Noth by Rhynie, share the joy of 10 years of success https://indicerural.com/youtube-farming-couple-based-in-tap-onoth-by-rhynie-share-the-joy-of-10-years-of-success/ Wed, 04 May 2022 11:08:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/youtube-farming-couple-based-in-tap-onoth-by-rhynie-share-the-joy-of-10-years-of-success/

A YOUTUBE farming couple are celebrating a decade of sustainable farming in rural Aberdeenshire.

James Reid and Rosa Bevan have amassed an impressive following on YouTube.

Young farmers James Reid and Rosa Bevan have made a living at Tap O’Noth by Rhynie using permaculture techniques.

With over 19,000 YouTube subscribers, the duo’s videos documenting life on the farm and encouraging sustainable techniques have proven popular.

Their eight-acre farm produces eco-friendly fruits and vegetables and is also home to chickens, geese and a herd of dairy goats.

James Reid with some of his sustainable organic products.
James Reid with some of his sustainable organic products.

James Reid said: “We want to inspire people about the life they can lead if they look at the earth a little differently.

“To have been able to work in this direction over the past ten years has been extremely rewarding.

“We want to continue to develop our social platform to expand our reach.

“It’s amazing what you can do with a little piece of land and a lot of people don’t know that.”

First-generation farmers also supplement their income from the land through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegetable basket business, agritourism, and farm tours and rental of their shepherd’s cabin.

They also offer online permaculture advice and residential courses.

Rosa Bevan leading her dairy goats.
Rosa Bevan leading her dairy goats.

Rosa Bevan said: “We haven’t looked back since this project began ten years ago and it has been inspiring for us to see the benefits Tap O’ Noth Farm has had on the environment, our local community and our lives as well.

“It’s been an incredible ten years at Tap O’ Noth Farm and we look forward to what the future holds for our Aberdeenshire home.”

The couple’s ecological success is featured in the Scottish Land Commission’s MyLand.Scot campaign, which aims to highlight the benefits the land brings to communities across Scotland.

Hamish Trench, Chief Executive of the Scottish Land Commission, said: “James and Rosa from Tap O’ Noth Farm have done an incredible job of combining permaculture and land use with social media to create an inspirational home. informative and interesting.

“By developing the farm as they have, the couple are a great example of how the land in Scotland can be transformed to benefit the environment, people’s livelihoods and communities.

“We hope that by sharing their and other important stories through the MyLand.Scot campaign, we can inspire Scots to start thinking about the land differently.

“Land can play a crucial role in everyday Scotland, from housing and homes, to giving people the means and confidence to start businesses.”

James and Rosa are also featured on a brand new podcast “The Lay of the Land” talking about their experiences and love of the land.

Click here for more information on Tap O’Noth.


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FERN’s Back Forty: How Vegetable Farming Can ‘Redevelop’ the Mississippi Delta https://indicerural.com/ferns-back-forty-how-vegetable-farming-can-redevelop-the-mississippi-delta/ Tue, 03 May 2022 22:32:47 +0000 https://indicerural.com/ferns-back-forty-how-vegetable-farming-can-redevelop-the-mississippi-delta/

By Boyce Upholt

Back Forty will bring you periodic reviews, interviews and insights from journalists on the stories they’ve written. Register here or below

Woodruff County, Arkansas is located at the western end of what has come to be known as the “Delta,” the flat empire of farmland that hugs the Mississippi River along its thousands of miles more to the south. The county had a population of 23,000 in the 1930s, its economy centered around agriculture.

Last fall, when reporter Travis Lux and I drove through the county, we noticed that many storefronts in his largest village were closed. The population has dropped over the decades and is around 6,000 today. I lived in the Delta for almost 10 years and got used to the signs of decay and abandonment. Visitors, however, sometimes told me that the empty city centers and home repairs reminded them of the developing world.

Travis and I traveled to Woodruff County to report on the latest episode of FERN hot farm Podcast. Today, the land there, as in most of the delta, is almost entirely given over to staple crops. Arkansas, for example, grew more than 3 million acres of soybeans in 2019; vegetables, meanwhile, like tomatoes and sweet potatoes, cover just 15,000 acres across the state. We wanted to explore whether this ratio might change in the coming decades – whether the delta might, as a report suggested, becoming the “Next California”.

California feeds the nation, producing one-third of America’s vegetables and two-thirds of our fruits and nuts. Today, as drought and wildfires, driven by climate change, threaten the state and a growing global population increases demand on California’s fields and orchards, these crops have already begun to grow. move to new territories. The World Wildlife Foundation, which authored the report I quote above, thinks the Delta might be a good place to target.

Why is a wildlife-focused nonprofit stepping into the future of delta agriculture? Currently, new agricultural land is being cleared in the Dakotas and Montana, replacing native grasslands that provide crucial habitat for all sorts of species and pull carbon from the air that is warming the planet and trap it in the ground. . The delta offers fertile soil and, in most places, abundant water; its greatest asset, however, at least from a conservation point of view, is that the habitat there has already disappeared.

Workers during the sweet potato harvest at Peebles Organic Farms. Photo by Kelly Peebles.

Until the end of the 19th century, the Delta was a vast forest of cypresses. This soil was expensive to clear and drain, so early white farmers were usually wealthy men with large gangs of enslaved laborers. Later, after emancipation, the “planters,” as large landowners are still called, deployed an agenda of paternalism and racial oppression to maintain a supply of predominantly black tenant workers.

Among those tenants were some of the world’s first blues musicians, and today Highway 61, which crosses the Mississippi Delta, is promoted as a road trip destination – a slice of Americana lined with old juke joints and graves of blues masters. But there are also darker markers of the region’s past. Almost all counties along the lower Mississippi are predominantly black and poor.

One of the reasons for poverty is that farmers no longer need a large workforce. In the four decades since the Great Depression, as tractors and chemicals replaced mules and human hands as choice tools and commodity farms replaced family farms, the farming population of the lower Mississippi Valley fell 78%, according to historian Christopher Morris. In the 1960s, farmers burned down rows of empty tenant houses, freeing up more space for crops.

Even black farmers who owned their land often lost it, due to discriminatory laws and policies and operating political structures. There are still thriving villages in the delta, but the smaller towns have struggled as those who were able sought opportunities elsewhere. In this sense, it is really the UN-developing world, a constellation of communities that have been gutted by the brutalities of the modern agricultural economy.

What happened in the delta was part of a national trend. By the end of the 20th century, much of rural America had become a patchwork of large farms operated by small crews atop large machines, producing mostly corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton. In Woodruff County, the average farm is 1,400 acres, more than three times the national average. Yet the per capita income there is 27% lower than the national rate. Someone gets rich from these base crops, but that’s not most residents.

Our story for hot farm centered on Shawn Peebles, a Woodruff County farmer who once largely turned to vegetable production, growing everything from sweet potatoes to black-eyed peas on 7,000 acres. As Peebles explains, the change saved his family’s farm. I was struck, however, by another effect: to grow its vegetables, Peebles needs a large team of full-time employees. “We bring in 50 to 60 guys a year, in a town of 800 people,” he told us. “It’s also an influx of taxpayer money into this community.”

It’s no surprise that Peebles sees vegetable production as a way to repopulate the Delta. With vegetables, a family can make a good living on a few hundred acres, he said, and would also need the help of several employees. These would mainly be low-wage jobs, although Peebles said he was also looking to hire an agronomist.

As Travis points out in the podcast, the “New California” narrative faces significant hurdles in the Delta. Each culture requires its own equipment and infrastructure, which is costly and little known. Labor is also an issue, as most farmers in the Delta lack experience in recruiting and hiring a large workforce. Peebles brings its workers through the H-2A visa program, which brings in seasonal foreign workers, mostly from Mexico.

This has its own complications. Peebles says that once, while members of his team were shopping at a dollar store, another customer called the police. She thought – mistakenly, Peebles discovered after reviewing the store’s security cameras – that they were stealing merchandise. For Peebles, the incident was rooted in stereotype. Residents of Woodruff County are not used to dozens of men covered in agricultural filth and speaking Spanish in their stores.
This suggests another way the Delta could possibly emulate California, where the culture has been heavily shaped by immigrants working the fields. A road through California’s Central Valley has been dubbed the “taco trail.” If the Delta is to redevelop around vegetable farming, Highway 61 may have to make way for its bluesy past for a new identity.

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CSO: 25 farmers committed suicide in 2019 https://indicerural.com/cso-25-farmers-committed-suicide-in-2019/ Tue, 03 May 2022 01:30:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/cso-25-farmers-committed-suicide-in-2019/

Mental health issues in rural Ireland are coming under increasing scrutiny, with the farming community particularly at risk of rural isolation and depression.

n average, 25 farmers die each year by suicide, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to the Independent of agriculture. Mental health in rural areas has become a matter of particular concern, particularly following a number of high profile murder/suicide cases in the country last year.

While the CSO’s latest figures only date back to 2019, there has already been considerable concern in some areas this year, with Cork County Council recently being made aware of several farmer suicides in local communities.

The news is likely to shock many people living in rural Ireland, but the suicide rate among farmers has fallen over the years, from a peak of 34 cases in 2014 to 25 cases in 2019, and a rise in Ever-growing awareness of depression and mental health issues in communities is supported by charities such as Make a Moove and Embrace Farm.

However, farmers are still a vulnerable group in society, with an earlier report from the Men’s Health Forum highlighting the stigma felt by many male farmers who open up about their feelings of depression.

The most recent report from the National Self-Harm Registry also highlighted that in hospitals considered to be in rural areas, such as Bantry and Ennis, cases of self-harm have nearly doubled.

Men were more likely than women to need treatment for alcohol abuse and self-harm.

“Men who self-harmed required more intensive treatment than women,” the report said. “Respectively, in 2019, 22% of men received sutures and 3% were referred for plastic surgery, compared to 18% and 1% of women.”

Although the report is from 2019, many will worry that the pandemic has exacerbated problems accessing mental health services, especially in rural areas.

If you have been affected by this story, the Samaritans is a free helpline. Call 116 123 free of charge or visit samaritans.org.

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