I am writing to let you know that today, 16 November, we have launched the new Farming Investment Fund.
As Direct Payments are phased out over the 7-year agricultural transition we have committed to offering around £27million of financial assistance to support farmers to invest in their businesses. This Fund will therefore offer funding for equipment, technology, and infrastructure that improves farm productivity and benefits the environment.
The Agricultural Transition Plan Commitment
As we set out in our Agricultural Transition Plan document “The Path to Sustainable Farming” last year, which set out the changes we are making to English agricultural policy, Innovation in farming is integral to contributing towards this Government’s Net Zero ambitions alongside profitable and sustainable food production.
The Farming Investment Fund in detail
This Fund – open to farmers, foresters and growers (including contractors to these sectors) in England - will help them to focus on more efficient production methods that will reduce resource costs, improve yields, and give them a better return.
The Fund is formed of two strands that will offer opportunities to apply for grants for both smaller investments: The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund; and for larger investments, The Farming Transformation Fund.
The first strand, the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund, will support the purchase of items from a set list of equipment and technology.
The second strand, the Farming Transformation Fund, will be formed of themes and today we are opening the first theme, Water Management. This is dedicated to arable and horticultural businesses growing, or intending to grow irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries. Applications can be made online at a new online eligibility checker which has been designed to improve the application process for these grants. We will open additional themes, as part of this Fund in the coming months.
We believe this is a great opportunity for the British farming community and I would urge you to share the news in your constituency and encourage eligible farmers, foresters and growers (including contractors) in your areas to take up the scheme. As the old subsidy-based Basic Payment scheme is being phased out, it’s essential the sector look at the new offering we are putting in place, which is of primary importance for British farmers and for the sector to prosper.
I have also enclosed our latest leaflet that summarises this and other changes coming for the sector during the next few years.
RT HON GEORGE EUSTICE MP