New Defra Countryside Productivity Grants for farm productivity and for adding value
Defra has recently announced two new Countryside Productivity Grants – to improve farm productivity and to add value to Agri-Food products. The grant rate is 40%, but both schemes have a minimum grant application of £35,000 – ie a minimum project cost of at least £87,500 – so are only applicable for larger scale investments.
Farm productivity grants can be used to pay for:
- the use of robotic equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production eg robotic milkers
- increasing the use of renewable energy produced on farm by improving energy storage and distribution
- the use of LED wavelength controlled lighting to aid crop production
- more efficient use of livestock slurries and manures, and digestate
The final deadline for applications for the Farm Productivity Scheme is 3rd December 2018 and more information is on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/655850/Improving_Farm_Productivity_handbook_v1.0.pdf
The adding value to Agri-Food scheme provides grants for equipment and machinery, and for constructing or improving buildings associated with food processing. There is a deadline of 29th June 2018 for submitting Expressions of Interest and this is a two stage application process, unlike the farm productivity grant which is a one stage application. More information about the adding value scheme is on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/655863/Adding_Value_to_Agri-food_Handbook_v1.0.pdf
The large minimum grant threshold means that both these schemes will only be accessible to a relatively small number of farmers making significant investments. However, grants for both farm productivity equipment and adding value are available through the Leader Programmes with a minimum grant of £2,500 (£6,000 in Lancashire).
The Farmer Network can help with advice for members over the telephone/by e mail and can prepare applications at a discounted rate for members – call the Farmer Network office on 01768 868615.