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Rural: What to Expect from the Farming Investment Fund

Tue 20 April 2021

Over the past year, more and more information has been released regarding the funding opportunities available under the Agricultural Transition Plan; all these new schemes are designed to increase productivity in an environmentally sustainable way without relying on Direct Payments.

One of these new schemes is the Farming Investment Fund; a scheme that will deliver capital items, much like the Countryside Productivity Scheme. So far, we know that it is set to be launched this Autumn and is set to achieve profitability as well as environmental good*.

The Farming Investment Fund will be split into two strands grants of lower value and grants of higher value…

FARMING EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY FUND

The Farming Equipment and Technology fund is a lower value fund and will be aimed at improving business performance. The fund is very much based upon the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme and farmers will be given the opportunity to apply for partial funding of a set list of equipment, technology and small infrastructure investments.

We know that they are reviewing the current list of items available under the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme and this information will be released prior to the launch in the Autumn; however, those that are interested can used the current pre-determined list to get a flavour of what may be available.

We don’t currently know the percentage of any items funding that will be available to farmers, however, it has been stated by DEFRA that the proportion funded "may be higher where the item delivers the greatest environmental benefit."

Eligibility has not yet been released; however, we expect that it will follow similarly to the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme.

FARMING TRANSFORMATION FUND

The Farming Transformation Fund will provide grant funding for larger and more complicated investments, such as:

  • on-farm water storage infrastructure, including reservoirs
  • precision agriculture equipment (for example, low emission and variable-rate nutrient or pesticide application)
  • robotic or automated technology
  • equipment and technology for storing, sorting, or processing products

The fund is largely based on the Countryside Productivity Large Grant Scheme, which was structured around set themes such as water resource management, adding value to agri-food and improving farm productivity. We know that Defra is currently assessing feedback from farmers on previous themes.

There is fantastic opportunity within the scheme, however, we won’t know any more about the types of investment it will support or who will be eligible until the autumn.

We will look forward to keeping you updated with further information as it is released.

*information correct at the time of writing - April 2021.

Charles Raine, Director
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