Farmers, foresters and growers across England are being encouraged to apply for grants to buy new equipment and infrastructure projects to help to improve efficiency and to help the environment.
The Fund is split across two strands:
1. Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
The grant is a contribution towards the cost of buying new technology or equipment from an approved list. The items available to apply for have been identified following consultation with industry groups and suppliers, to help:
- improve agricultural productivity
- contribute to improved animal health and welfare
- encourage more sustainable pesticide usage
- improve air and water quality
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with Net Zero targets
- reduce unsustainable use of abstracted water
- encourage sustainable management of woodlands
Further information regarding what equipment is included can be found here. The deadline for applications is 7 January 2022 at midday.
DEFRA have based the scheme on the old small productivity grants scheme, however, they have made some important changes based on feedback from farmers.
2. The Farming Transformation Fund
This fund will cover more substantial technology, with the potential to transform business performance. This strand will focus initially on water management with grants available to improve water use on farms for things like crop irrigation and constructing on-farm reservoirs. Further grants regarding improving farm productivity and adding value are expected to open in the new year.
The Government have set a maximum grant available of £500,000 and a minimum of £35,000 to enable them to ensure funding is available to support the widest number of farmers, whilst still being committed to supporting higher value projects which align to the fund’s objectives.
Applications can be made online and includes an online eligibility checker to improve the application process. Projects that score highly enough against the scheme objectives will be invited to make a full application. The deadline for initial applications is the 12 January 2022, with the deadline to complete full applications by 30 June 2022.
These funds are another way to assist the Government reaching its Net Zero ambitions in which the Government are hoping the farming industry will play a crucial role.