Improving the lives of farmers

This research was undertaken by ADR Northern Ireland.

One of the most impactful pieces of research undertaken by ADR Northern Ireland involved both academic researchers and researchers from the Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

One of DAERA’s key goals was to improve the lives of rural dwellers and farming communities, with prior research indicating that farmers are at a higher risk of health issues due to long working hours, physical labour, isolation and accidents. Another key target was to improve expertise and education among farming populations; in particular, IT literacy.

In conjunction with the ADRC-NI Statistical Methodological Officer at Queen’s University Belfast, this research project sought a better understanding of the health and educational issues within farming communities, linking these to DAERA policies and programmes. This allowed for comparison of the individual circumstances of farmers and farming families in order to better understand their livelihoods.

Utilising ADR NI’s ability to link data from the Northern Ireland Agricultural Census and the Population Census, researchers discovered key evidence to inform government policy, establish robust baseline information, provide evidence of need, and aid in research targeting and outcome monitoring.

This research has already saved DAERA £350,000 (the cost of conducting their own survey). You can find out more about the research and read the full report here.

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