Farmers offered tech grants

Government makes £25m available for investment in technology

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The government is offering a total of £25m of grant funding to allow farmers in invest in new technologies.

The Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme is inviting farmers to apply for between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in tech or equipment that could help them in one of four areas: technical efficiency; animal health and welfare; resource efficiency; and nutrient management.

Examples cited by the government include automated cameras to monitor livestock, sensors to detect ammonia levels, and technology that can “increase machinery precision when applying slurry”.

The £25m funding tranche will support the third and final round of the programme. Farmers who have been awarded money in the previous rounds remain eligible to apply for further backing to encourage them to “streamline other elements of their business or start the move towards farming more sustainably”.

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Farming minister Victoria Prentis said: “Helping our farmers to boost their productivity is absolutely essential, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to make £25 million in grants available to farmers to invest in the latest technology. Coming from a farming family, 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 around us. Our landmark Agriculture Bill sets out further measures to help farmers become more productive, efficient and resilient, with specific productivity grants expected to be available from 2021.”

A total of £35m has been doled out over the course of the first two funding rounds. The final round has the capacity to award between 2,000 and 8,000 further grants.


Sam Trendall

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