Third and final round of Small Grants scheme opens

Farm businesses can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to help them invest in new technology
Farm businesses can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to help them invest in new technology

Farmers are being invited to apply for grants worth £25 million to boost on-farm productivity by purchasing new technology and equipment.

The third and final round of the government’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants (CPSG) scheme is now open for applications.

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

Last year, new items were added to the list, such as equipment that helps minimise soil compaction in fields, monitor ammonia levels and increase machinery precision when applying slurry.

Farmers who have been successful in applying for grants in previous rounds of the scheme will also be able to apply for different pieces of equipment.

Defra farming minister Victoria Prentis said boosting the farming industry's productivity was 'essential'.

“I have experienced first-hand the benefits that having innovative equipment can bring, including saving businesses time and money while improving yields and minimising the impact we have on the environment."

To date, £35m has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with the final round bringing the total funding made available to £60m.

Farmers have until midday on 4 November to make an application to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

The agency's chief executive Paul Caldwell is encouraging farmers to look into the scheme to help them prepare their future.

“Having access to game-changing innovative technology can make a real difference to farmers and help boost the productivity of the whole farming sector in England.

“I would encourage all our customers to consider how this offer may benefit their business or help them to prepare for their future farming and apply for a small grant.”