English farmers and growers will be able to apply for grants of up to £500,000 in government funding to invest in robotics and technology, with the aim of boosting food production.
Grants ranging from £35,000 up to £500,000 are available to invest in equipment such as autonomous tractors, robots that harvest, spray crops and weed, as well as automated milking systems.
The new scheme, worth £25m in total, is the latest instalment of the Farming Investment Fund – an umbrella fund which opened in November and is designed to increase productivity on farms. It’s part of the government’s Agricultural Transition Plan, which will reward farmers and landowners for actions which benefit the environment, supporting sustainable food production alongside vital nature recovery and work towards net zero.
The application window for the Improving Farm Productivity theme of the Farming Investment Fund has opened today [19 January]. Farmers and agricultural contractors are being urged to take advantage of this opportunity to apply for grants to buy new equipment and infrastructure to improve efficiency. Further themed grants will open later this year.
Farming minister, Victoria Prentis, said: “We know how important it is for farmers to identify opportunities that maximise productivity and yields. These grants are aimed at contributing towards the purchase of new and green equipment that can bring a positive change to the day-to-day operation of a farm, as well as the wider environment.
“This specific fund has a two-month application window, and I encourage everyone in the sector to take a look at eligibility and fund details.”
The application window for the Improve Farm Productivity fund is open until 16 March.