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Funding news - 02/11/2017

Government Announces £40 Million Fund to Improve England's Farm Productivity

Farmers in England are poised to receive a £40 million productivity boost as the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, announces the opening of a new grant scheme investing in state-of-the-art technology and new equipment.

Speaking at the 2017 World Dairy Summit in Belfast, the Secretary of State is inviting farmers and food processors to apply for grants through the Countryside Productivity Scheme. Under the scheme, grants are available to help livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural farmers improve farm productivity by investing in new technology, such as robotics, in order to reduce costs or improve product quality.

Funding can be used on diverse investments, from robotic milking machines to green technology. The scheme also offers funds for farmers and food processors to invest in new equipment and machinery to improve the processing of milk, meat and fruit.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Michael Gove said:

"Farmers truly are the backbone of our rural economy and as the original friends of the earth, we want to support them to grow more, sell more and export more great British produce – all while doing good for our environment.

"This new funding is a wonderful opportunity for our farmers and food processors to invest in the technology they need to boost productivity, competition and, of course, sustainability as a key factor in future proofing our world leading food and farming industry."

The Countryside Productivity Scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and this latest announcement is the second phase of the Large Grants scheme announced in July 2017, offering grants between £35,000 and £1 million.

Applications are currently being accepted.

Source: Defra, 30/10/2017

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