The Farming Investment Fund is open.
People are able to apply for grants for both smaller investments (The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund) and for larger investments (The Farming Transformation Fund).
Find out more and apply here
We would like to give you an update on the Farming Investment Fund.
As we've said in previous posts, the Farming Investment Fund is one of the ways through which profitability and environmental good can be achieved. It is designed to help farmers invest in things like new farming technology and equipment.
We had hoped to be in a position to announce more details of when the fund would be available by now. Unfortunately we’re not quite there yet.
We are almost ready and we're on track to announce the details this month. We're just going through the final stages at the moment.
We understand that this delay is frustrating, but it's really important that we get things right before we launch.
To reassure you, nobody will lose out as a result of this delay. The application window will remain open for the length of time that was originally intended.
Thank you for your patience and for your interest in the fund. As soon as we have any updates, we'll post them here on the blog. Make sure you subscribe to get the latest updates.
Comment by George Hosford posted on
This fund does nothing to help the sensible planning that farm businesses have to undergo when considering purchases of new kit.
In the past these schemes have not allowed the use of HP or finance offers, which often carry significant amounts of subsidy from the manufacturers. Losing this subsidy results in poorer value for money for the public funds being dished out as grants, as well as for the main purchaser. Strict rules about approval being needed before placing an order for kit, and supply chain issues in the manufacturing sector make things even more difficult.
Lastly, the very nature of these schemes, open only for a short time, can lead to bad decision making at farm level. A business may be on a particular trajectory, say towards regenerative agriculture on an arable farm, where a key factor is the purchase of a very expensive item such as a no-till drill. A decision like this will often take two years or more, by the time the required research and demonstrations have been undertaken, maybe other kit needs to be sold or changed first. One cannot afford to get a decision like this wrong, yet these schemes seem designed to encourage farmers to cock up the decision making process. Right now is a perfect demonstration of this, you pre-announced months ago that there will be a window opening for applications, but you have this week announced a delay! No basis for proper decision making at farm level.
To be truly of use, and not to simply line the pockets of manufacturers, who right now are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of a rush of orders before christmas, this fund needs to be available all the time. That way farmers will make the right purchases at the right time to suit their businesses, and that of course will give a better chance of getting best value for money for public funds.
Comment by Gordon Jones posted on
Thanks for visiting the blog and for sharing your thoughts, they are much appreciated. I read them carefully and will feed them back to my team. Our co-design work will continue as we develop future rounds of the fund. To help with business planning, we're encouraging all farmers to make use of the Future Farming Resilience fund - advisers will explain the changes and work out a plan for your farm.
Farming Investment Fund Team
Comment by Terry Lobb posted on
I totally agree with George, we small farmers that need the most help have to plan very carefully in advance, having to sell some machinery before buying more. And ounce again page after page to go through to even get an idea of whats what. Is no one at DEFRA able to produce a simply strait forward scheme that us very busy farmers trying to feed the country can cope with.!!
Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on
You're absolutely right. Farmers need and deserve a simple, straightforward experience when dealing with Defra. We're doing our best to make sure that everything we publish is to-the-point and the applications process isn't onerous. We're doing that by involving farmers in the design of our new schemes and services.
We want to make sure that there is something for every farmer in our future schemes and I can appreciate there's a lot going on!
Did you know that if you receive Direct Payments, you can get free advice from an independent adviser? An adviser will explain the changes to farming in England now we've left the EU, and they'll help you work out the best plan for your farm. Take a look at this page:https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/01/14/more-time-for-farmers-to-apply-for-free-business-advice/
You can contact an adviser on the list directly. Also, at the bottom of the page, you'll see a video made by 3 farmers. They share how they've used this free advice.
This page captures all of the new schemes: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2021/06/23/how-farming-is-changing/ (it's quite long)
This leaflet gives a very top-level overview of all the schemes and timelines in one place: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/246/2022/01/FiC-Ag-Show-Leaflet-Dec-21.pdf