Further rounds of funding for the popular small grants scheme for farmers has been confirmed.
The government has committed £30 million for further rounds of the popular Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme (CPSGS), which helps farmers buy the equipment they need to boost productivity and increase yields.
The first round of funding for small grants was launched in February and the government is on course to grant more than £15 million to farmers who applied to buy new kit. This will include equipment specific to cattle, sheep and pig farmers, as well as precision farming and resource management equipment for arable farmers.
The next application window will open in early 2019, with over £30 million available for future funding rounds for farmers.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove made the announcement ahead of the Government’s Agri-Tech Investment roundtable in London on Thursday 11 October, hosted by DIT and attended by Defra, BEIS and DFID alongside investors including Bayer Crop Sciences, Elanco, Marine Harvest and Zoetis. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: The UK is a world-leader for talent in agriculture and technology, so there are real opportunities for our burgeoning agri-tech sector. Harnessing technology enables our hard working farmers to become even more productive and environmentally efficient. We are already seeing the rewards of investing in agri-tech, with further funding of around £30m confirmed today for farmers to purchase hi-tech equipment. We know that by embracing technology – such as fruit ripeness spectrometers or calving detectors – farm businesses can become more efficient, productive and resilient.
Following industry feedback, new items have also been added to the list of equipment eligible for funding in the second round, including fruit ripeness spectrometers and nitrogen-measuring devices for calculating fertiliser application for crops.
Information about the scheme and the items eligible for the first round of funding are listed online. Further details will be published in early 2019 when the next round of funding opens for applications.
The current deadline is 3rd December, and includes grants in the following areas:
- the use of robotic equipment to aid crop and livestock production
- 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 Improving farm productivity grant handbook can be found here.