By Abbie Allen
This week, Defra have launched the long-awaited Farming Investment Fund. This funding is open to farmers, agricultural contractors, and forestry contractors involved in the production or processing of agricultural, horticultural, or forestry products.
It aims to offer investment opportunities for new equipment, technology and infrastructure that strives to improve and enhance the natural environment.
The Farming Investment Fund is made up of two parts:
1 – The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
2 – The Farming Transformation Fund
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
This funding is set to provide small productivity grants to farmers and is based on the old small productivity grants scheme. However, there are some notable changes.
The number of items on the list has risen from 85 to 120, and the cap is rising from £12,000 to £25,000. It’s also important to mention that the minimum spend has been reduced from £3,000 to £2,000. If an application is successful, the applicant will be reimbursed once the item(s) have been purchased.
There are five key areas that are being covered:
Items in these categories include, but are not limited to:
- Timber cranes
- Irrigation sensor
- Heat recovery unit
- Plate meter
- Grain stirrers
- Mobile cattle handling systems
- Cattle crush
- Fixed sheep handling systems
- Cover crop roller
- Crop storage sensors
- Portable ammonia analyser
- Dribble bar/trailing shoe
- Flow rate monitoring of slurry
You can download a full list of the eligible items here.
There is also an initial offer available to upgrade slurry management systems. This includes grants for additional infrastructure and equipment as part of future rounds of the fund.
The Farming Transformation Fund
The Water Management Theme is dedicated to arable and horticultural businesses growing irrigated food crops, ornamentals, or forestry nurseries. It offers grants for capital items that’ll improve farm productivity through more efficient use of water for irrigation, and to secure water supplies for crop irrigation by constructing on-farm reservoirs and adopting irrigation application equipment.
The minimum grant you can apply for is £35,000. The maximum grant is £500,000.
There are set to be other themes available in the coming months, including automation.
You can apply online now for the Farming Investment Fund. The application deadline for the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund is the 7th January 2022 whilst Farming Transformation Fund closes on the 12th January 2022.
For help and guidance on submitting your application for this scheme, please get in touch. Our experience and knowledge in applying for, and achieving, successful grant applications means that we understand the ins and outs of the process, from start to finish. Our Farm Consultants will be able to guide you on the most suitable option for you and your business, to ensure you benefit from every grant in the best way possible.
Further insight can also be found on the Gov.uk website.