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https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2021/12/15/the-farming-investment-fund-more-notice-more-information-and-a-new-opportunity-ahead/

The Farming Investment Fund: more notice, more information and a new opportunity ahead 

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Funding, Future Farming Podcast, Things we're doing, Things we've learned
Natural England/Paul Glendell

Last month, we launched the Farming Investment Fund. It included the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the Water Management theme of the Farming Transformation Fund.  

We’re really pleased that there’s been so much interest - there’s still time to apply for funding. To find out more and apply, visit GOV.UK

Since the launch, we’ve had regular conversations to hear your views on our approach. We want to make improvements as we go. In this post, I’ll share what we heard and what we’re doing to make things better as a result.  

More time 

You told us that you wanted more time to prepare. Specifically, that we need to prepare potential applicants that a fund will launch and that we need give a more generous window for applications. 

We recognise that time for researching, planning and applying is really important which is why we’re going to try to share more and earlier whenever we can.  

So, in January, we’re going to launch the Improving Farm Productivity theme, which will be the second offering under the Farming Transformation Fund.  

More information  

You also said more information, structured clearly, would enable you to make better decisions. 

 So, we’ve published ‘The Manual for Improving Farm Productivity’ on GOV.UK to support applications for Improving Farm Productivity grants.  

You won’t be able to apply for Improving Farm Productivity grants until it launches in mid-January, but this manual should help you consider your options and to make a choice in a timely way. It provides all the information you need on what is and isn’t included. 

Remember, you can also apply for more than one theme under the Farming Transformation Fund, so long as the application windows are open. This is in addition to an application under the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund up to the £25k maximum for that fund. 

The next part of the fund to launch: Improving Farm Productivity 

By way of a short introduction, the grants awarded through Improving Farm Productivity will pay for capital items to improve farm and horticulture productivity through:  

  • the use of robotic or autonomous equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production.  
  • the installation of slurry acidification equipment (to improve nutrient management and reduce ammonia emissions).  

As with all applications under the Farming Transformation Fund, application will be by a 2-step process.  

Step 1: An eligibility and desirability check 

We’ve created an online checker, which will be available as soon as the application window opens in mid-January. It will give you an idea of your chance of success. When the window opens, we guarantee that the online checker will be open for a minimum of 8 weeks in which to check the eligibility and desirability of your project.  

Step 2: An invitation 

If your project scores highly enough, we will invite you to submit a full application. You will need to complete a full application form and send this with your supporting documents (including quotes) to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) by email. 

Successful projects will be provided with details about how to do this when the scheme is open for applications.  

You will then have until mid-September 2022 to submit your full application. If you need planning permission, then this must be approved by the end of December 2022. 

Dates for your calendars  

As a reminder for those wishing to apply for the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund the closing date for applications is Friday 7 January 2022. If you have any questions about the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund, please email the Rural Payments Agency FETFEnquiries@rpa.gov.uk 

For those wishing to apply for the Water Management theme, the online checker closes 12 January 2022, with full applications required by 30 June 2022. Planning permission and any abstraction license requirements need to be in place by the 31 December 2022. If you have any questions about the Water Management theme, please email the Rural Payments Agency FTF@rpa.gov.uk 

For those wishing to apply for Improving Farm Productivity, the application window is expected to open in mid-January. Further details will be available ahead of the launch. 

If you have any questions about the new Improving Farm Productivity grant, or comments on our Farming Investment Fund offer, please comment below. For information about your personal situation, contact the Rural Payments Agency FTF@rpa.gov.uk 

Podcast

The latest Future Farming Podcast is on the Farming Investment Fund. Listen to the podcast. 

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4 comments

  1. Comment by Richard Styles posted on

    Once again, looking through the list of eligible items on the manual for Improving Farm Productivity, there is nothing there for a family arable cereal farm to claim on.
    Its as if our sector has been completely overlooked, again.
    I have to say I am not surprised as we produce a basic commodity that others then use to take their product to final market. Milling wheat for example. We therefore are invisible to others.
    Policy seems to me to be made by people with full stomachs.

    Reply
    • Replies to Richard Styles>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for interest in the Farming Investment Fund.

      In the first round of the Farm Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) there were no items that supported the measuring of protein, oil or nitrogen in harvested or stored grain.

      The FETF provides support by offering a grant towards the purchase cost of specific items from a list. The items available to apply for were identified following consultation with farmers, industry groups and other stakeholders. For round one of the FETF there were 120 items on the list of which a number were aimed at the arable sector including controls for continuous grain dryers, grain stirrers and crop storage sensors.

      Following the popular first round of the FETF launched in November 2021, Defra and the RPA are now looking to review the list of items available for grant funding for round two.

      In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to farmers and stakeholders for support/input in reviewing the list of items that will be eligible for grant funding as part of future rounds.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  2. Comment by John hawkins posted on

    Has anyone notices the gapping hole in funding between the FTF and FIF this is the investments between 25k and 87.5k... Lots of investment opportunities sit in this void and are within farmers budgets. Is LEADER still available to allow us to invest between these values?

    Reply
    • Replies to John hawkins>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your interest in the Farming Investment Fund and your thoughts on the levels of grant aid available.

      The two funds of the FIF have been carefully designed with input from a wide range of farmers and farming bodies to ensure that they are as relevant as possible to a modern and sustainable farming industry.

      We review the schemes for future rounds and will make sure that your input is taken into account during this process.

      Following the popular first round of the FETF launched in November 2021, Defra and the RPA will be looking to review the list of items available for grant funding for round two. In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to farmers and stakeholders for support/input in reviewing the list of items that will be eligible for grant funding as part of future rounds.

      Best wishes and thanks,
      The Team

      Reply

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