There has been much discussion of the environmental land management scheme (ELMS), focusing upon managing the land in an environmentally conscious fashion. However, until recently there was little comment on rewarding productivity and efficiency. The government has now released more information on the farming investment fund, a two-part scheme which is split into the lower tier Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the higher tier Farming Transformation fund.
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will be similar to the recent Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme. This scheme will offer smaller grants to improve productivity, farmers choosing the equipment from a government approved list which will be released nearer to the time. Similar to the small grant scheme, farmers will apply for the grant and if successful, purchase the equipment and will be reimbursed for the grant amount. It is expected the list of items will be similar to what have been offered in the past through the small grant fund, but confirmation will come in the Autumn.
The Farming Transformation fund will be similar to the Countryside Productivity Large Grant Scheme and will fund larger investments such as robotic or automation technology, precision agriculture equipment and on farm water storage infrastructure. Again, the type of equipment and infrastructure that will be on offer will be released in the Autumn and farmers will be expected to fill out an online eligibility check when applying for the competitive grants.
As direct payments are phased out, in the majority of cases there won’t be a single solution to cover the loss of farm income. However, similar to the Countryside Productivity Schemes these grants should improve productivity and help make your business more resilient post BPS. We will release more information in the Autumn when our FCG team will be happy to help with any applications.
For more information, contact Rosie at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG Office.