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An Update on the Farming Investment Fund

The Farming Investment Fund (not to be confused with the Farm Innovation Research and Development Fund) was expected to be open for applications from October 2021. However, in a blog post on 2nd November DEFRA have announced that there is a delay with the launch of the fund, with final details still being confirmed. It is expected that full details will be announced later this month.

The Farming Investment Fund is expected to be in two parts and is part of the new initiatives replacing direct payments aiming to achieve profitability and ‘environmental good’.

Part one:

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will provide smaller grants to improve business performance. Farmers can apply for a grant to buy items from a set list of equipment, technology and small infrastructure investments, based on the current Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme.

Applications will be online and the approval process will be straightforward, with a clear grant value assigned to each item. If an application is successful, the applicant will buy the item and then will be able to claim the reimbursement using their receipt.

Part two:

The Farming Transformation Fund will support larger or more complicated investments. It is based on the Countryside Productivity Large Grant scheme which was structured around a number of themes, such as water resource management, adding value to agri-food and improving farm productivity.

Examples of what grants could be awarded for:

  • 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

Defra is developing an online eligibility checker to improve the application process and will publish more information about the kind of projects that could be funded in the application guidance.

If you would like to make an application when the fund opens and require assistance then please contact our Professional Services department here or call 01884 235701.