Almost 900 farmers and growers in Northern Ireland have submitted expressions of interest to participate in a popular farm business grant scheme.
The Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital (FBIS-C) is designed to encourage farming businesses to invest in modern infrastructure and equipment.
The scheme seeks to improve the sustainability of farms through the purchase of new machinery - costing from £5,000 to £30,000.
Almost 900 expressions of interest have been received by the Department of Agriculture (DAERA) for the second tranche of Tier 2.
Invitations to information and training events will be issued shortly, DAERA said, ahead of the scheme opening for applications in October.
Welcoming the high interest in the scheme, farming minister Edwin Poot said: “In order to assist with developing those proposals, my department will shortly issue invitations to online information and training events.
"I would encourage all potential applicants to participate in these events, ahead of making an application to what will be a highly competitive scheme.”
This tranche of Tier 2, worth up to £12m, will support transformational investment in on-farm projects costing in excess of £30,000.
Funding is provided at a grant rate of 40% of eligible costs, with £250,000 the maximum grant available under the FBIS-Capital scheme.
Only those farm businesses which submitted an expression of interest will be eligible to submit a full application for Tier 2 tranche 2 when it opens.
Successful applicants under Tier 2 tranche 2 will have a maximum of one year to complete their project.