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Farm productivity grants available for UK farmers

The UK's Rural Payments Agency has set aside £25 million to help farmers boost productivity.

7 October 2020, at 7:58am

Farmers across the United Kingdom are invited to apply for farm productivity grants in round three of popular grants scheme

Under the scheme, farmers can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to buy new and innovative equipment – from livestock monitoring cameras to precision farming technology – which helps businesses save time and money and improve productivity.

Last year, new items were added to the list of the equipment available that will help farmers to benefit the environment, such as equipment designed to help minimise soil compaction in fields, monitor ammonia levels in farm buildings, and increase machinery precision when applying slurry.

Farmers who have been successful in applying for grants in previous rounds of the scheme will also be able to apply for different pieces of equipment within this final round up to the scheme’s limit of £12,000 per farmer, meaning that they can streamline other elements of their business or start the move towards farming more sustainably.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said:

“Helping our farmers to boost their productivity is absolutely essential, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to make £25 million in grants available to farmers to invest in the latest technology.

“Coming from a farming family, I have experienced first-hand the benefits that having innovative equipment can bring, including saving businesses time and money while improving yields and minimising the impact we have on the environment around us.

“Our landmark Agriculture Bill sets out further measures to help farmers become more productive, efficient and resilient, with specific productivity grants expected to be available from 2021.”

Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to announce a third round of the ever-popular Small Grants scheme. Having access to game-changing innovative technology can make a real difference to farmers and help boost the productivity of the whole farming sector in England.

“I would encourage all our customers to consider how this offer may benefit their business or help them to prepare for their future farming and apply for a small grant.”

To date, £35 million has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with today’s announcement bringing the total funding made available under the scheme to £60 million.

Although this is the final round of the Small Grants scheme, powers have been included in the Agriculture Bill to allow the government to provide financial assistance to support farmers to invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure that will not only boost their productivity, but also deliver environmental and other public benefits. Further detail on the support available from 2021 is due to be released later this year.

Farmers will have until midday on 4 November to make an application to the Rural Payments Agency.

Click here for more information on the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme and the handbook for this round of the scheme.