£22m awarded to farmers investing in new technology

The government has awarded £22 million to thousands of farmers who are looking to invest in new and innovative equipment.

Under the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme, farmers can apply for grants between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in equipment such as livestock monitoring cameras and precision farming technology, which help businesses improve productivity and save time and money.

Farming minister George Eustice said all eligible applications have been approved as part of round two of the scheme. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will be writing to the 3,677 successful applicants from today (28th October).

The first round of funding opened in 2018, with £15 million awarded to farmers investing in new technology.  A third and final funding round will open in autumn next year.

RPA is encouraging farmers to speak to suppliers to ensure the items they wish to order are available before accepting their grant.

New items were added to the list of equipment available for the second round of the scheme, to include grants for minimising soil compaction in fields, monitoring ammonia levels in farm buildings and increasing machinery precision when applying slurry.

Defra is advising farmers to make early orders to leave time for deliveries to arrive and payment claims to be processed by the end of May 2020.

Farming minister George Eustice said: “Boosting farm productivity is hugely important, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to fund all applications, supporting farmers to invest in game-changing technology.

“As a former farmer I know that new equipment can provide a real boost, saving businesses time and money while improving yields.

“When we introduce our landmark Agriculture Bill we will set out further measures to help farmers become more productive, efficient and resilient.”


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