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PM commits £42.5m to sustainable agriculture projects

More than 50 projects will receive a share of £30 million under the Farming Innovation Programme.

The funding will go towards programmes that increase agricultural output and strive for carbon neutrality. An additional £12.5 million has been allocated to support programmes that strengthen agricultural resilience, productivity, and sustainability.

Farmers may apply for up to £1 million as part of the £12.5 million 'On-Farm Environmental Resilience' competition to research and implement innovative agricultural practises. Funds will go to initiatives that improve agricultural operations while also protecting the environment, such as those that improve insect monitoring, disease control, fertiliser efficiency, and soil health.

The total of £42.5m is part of Innovate UK's Farming Innovation Programme, which is managed in collaboration with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). A total of £270,000,000.00 in grant funding is being made available under this programme.

Thérèse Coffey, the secretary of state for agriculture, has stated, "Farmers are always forward-looking, and innovation is key to driving forward a resilient, productive and sustainable agriculture sector that puts food on our tables while protecting and restoring the environment."

According to the most recent agri-climate report, agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have decreased across the board in the past 30 years. With a survey showing that over two thirds of farmers consider GHG important to consider during a business decision.

In this vein, one of the projects receiving funding is conducting genetic research to reduce methane emissions in cattle by up to 17% per generation. Both mitigating the environmental impact of farming and bolstering a reliable UK-grown protein source.

Katrina Hayter, executive director Healthy Living and Agriculture of Innovate UK said: “The competitions once again demonstrate the sheer breadth and quality of innovation within the UK agri-food space.

“We’re proud to be able to help deliver these funding and partnership opportunities to the sector, bringing together farmers, growers, technologists and researchers in a common aim of making the UK food system more sustainable and resilient.”

Farmers are still able to apply for the £12.5m On-Farm Environmental Resilience competition until 19 July. Details can be found here.


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