Farming Investment Fund to help productivity through agritech

A new grant funding opportunity is available to help improve farm productivity and diversification.

The Farming Investment Fund will provide grants to farmer’s, foresters, growers and related contractors to invest in technology, equipment and infrastructure to benefit the environment and improve profitability.

Grants can be used towards buying pre-determined items on a list and the grants can also towards the purchase of multiple items to improve productivity, manage water resources or add value to agri-food.

Applications will be assessed against the ability to contribute to the transformation fund scheme, such as using water more efficiently and nutrients more effectively.

Julie Wade, of Fisher German, said: “While it may be all too easy to concentrate on the decreasing BPS payments, we are urging farmer’s and landowners to consider new grant funding opportunities.

“Future grant funding presents a fantastic opportunity for businesses looking to improve productivity or diversify and should be utilised as seed capital to help propel businesses through the difficult period that lies ahead and build foundations for future years.”

The kinds of things grants might be awarded for could include:

  • on-farm water storage infrastructure, including reservoirs

  • precision agriculture equipment (for example, low emission and variable-rate nutrient or pesticide application)

  • robotic or automated technology

  • equipment and technology for storing, sorting, or processing products

To make the process easier for farmers, Defra has designed an online eligibility checker, which is currently being tested with users.

In contrast to the fund for smaller value items, successful applicants to the transformation fund may be paid their grant in several instalments because the amounts involved will be larger.

Farmers should be able to apply themselves or use an agent, so long as the agent has the necessary permission on the Rural Payments system.