Grants of up to £35,000 are expected to be available for crop storage, sorting and processing when Defra’s Farm Investment Fund launches later this year.
Announced last autumn, the fund is expected to open for applications in December, with more information expected this spring. It will be made available as the direct payments scheme is phased out over the coming years.
The government says it wants to encourage the industry to increase productivity in an environmentally sustainable way – so farmers can be profitable and sustainable without needing direct payments.
It says the fund will provide grants to farmers, foresters, growers and related contractors so they can invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure that will improve their profitability and benefit the environment.
All grants will be part funded by the farmer or land manager. The new scheme will be based on Countryside Productivity Scheme, with a similar application process. It will include an Expression of Interest element for higher value investments.
The scheme will be competitive, with higher-scoring applications more likely to succeed. Guidance will set out how applications will be appraised. The scheme will have two strands – for lower and higher value investments, each with a different application process.