Defra Launches £27m Fund for England’s Farmers

Funding is available for farmers, foresters and growers in England to invest in new technology.

The Farming Investment Fund has been created to promote investment in England’s farming and forestry businesses. It offers grants for purchasing new equipment, and infrastructure projects to help to improve efficiency.

The Fund aims to increase profitability whilst developing and enhancing environmental goods. This is part of the Government’s Agricultural Transition Plan, as subsidy payments are phased out. The Government’s desire is to reduce farmers’ reliance on direct payments and increase productivity from farm holdings in an environmentally and sustainable way.

The programme has an overall budget of £27 million. It is made up of two separate funds:

  • The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will focus on smaller grants for equipment from a set list, including electronic seeders and chemical-free disinfection systems. Grants of between £2,000 and £25,000 are available.
  • The Farming Transformation Fund will cover more substantial technology, with the potential to transform business performance. This strand will focus initially on water management, with grants to improve water use on farms for things like crop irrigation and constructing on-farm reservoirs. Grants of between £35,000 and £500,000 are available.

Farming and forestry businesses in England that are involved in the production or processing of agricultural, horticultural or forestry products can apply.

Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:

‘Innovation and technology have a real-life impact across the farming sector, so I’m delighted to be able to help unlock this potential for many farmers through the Farming Investment Fund. I know how popular these schemes are so I would encourage those eligible to make an application for this valuable support.’

The deadline for Round 1 of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund is 7 January 2022. The initial deadline for the Farming Transformation Fund (Water Management Grant) is 12 January 2022.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)