£22m released for farmers looking to boost productivity

Thousands of farmers have received money to spend on new farm equipment
Thousands of farmers have received money to spend on new farm equipment

The government has released £22m to more than 3,600 farmers looking to purchase new and innovative farm equipment.

The aim of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme is to help farmers improve efficiency.

Under the scheme, farmers can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to purchase equipment such as livestock monitoring cameras or precision farming technology.

Defra's farming minister George Eustice has confirmed today (28 October) that all eligible applications have been approved as part of round two.

The Rural Payments Agency has written to the 3,677 successful applicants from today.

Mr Eustice said boost farm productivity is 'hugely important' for the industry.

“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,” he said.

New items were added to the list of the equipment available for the second round of the Small Grants scheme.

Grants were available to minimise soil compaction in fields, monitor ammonia levels in farm buildings, and increase machinery precision when applying slurry.

The first round of funding opened in 2018, with £15 million spent to support farmers investing in technology to boost their productivity.

Today’s announcement means that £37 million has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with a third and final funding round to open in autumn 2020.

Farmers are encouraged to make early orders to leave time for deliveries to arrive and payment claims to be processed by the end of May 2020.