Defra opens farming investment fund

Applications for Defra’s Farming Investment Fund opened yesterday, offering farmers south of the border a £27m grant pot for adopting new technologies and investing in productivity-boosting equipment.

English farmers, foresters and growers have been urged to apply for grants to help them buy new equipment and infrastructure to help to improve efficiency and help the country ‘build back greener’.

“This could include solar powered electric fences, water treatment systems that use ultraviolet light rather than chemicals and cameras for monitoring livestock,” said a Defra spokesperson.

The fund will be split across two strands. Firstly, the Farming Equipment and TEchnol.ogy Fund will focus on smaller grants for equipment from a set list, including electronic seeders and chemical-free disinfection systems. Secondly, the Farming Transformation Fund will cover more substantial technology, with the potential to transform business performance – and this strand will focus initially on water management with grants available to improve water use on farms for crop irrigation and constructing on-farm reservoirs.

Defra Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis said the measures would help farmers invest in technology and infrastructure to boost productivity and deliver environmental benefits.

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“Investing in new technology and equipment on farm has a real impact on productivity and yields, as well as a benefit for the environment as we build on the historic commitments of COP 26.”

Prentice said that the Agricultural Transition Fund would also incentivise sustainable farming practices, rewarding farmers for producing public goods such as better air and water quality, protecting wildlife, soil health and animal welfare.

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