More than £168 million will be available to farmers through 16 different grants and competitions around research and innovation this year.

The grants will be delivered through the Farming Innovation Programme (FIP) and the Farming Investment Fund (FIF).

There will also be new dedicated funding for annual vet-led health and welfare checks for livestock and money to support farmers in implementing improvements following these visits, via the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway.

Speaking at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) conference in Birmingham today and tomorrow (February 21-22), Farming Minister Mark Spencer will set out how the grants will drive the development of new technology and innovative ways of farming, with a focus on practical solutions that advance food productivity and deliver significant environmental and animal welfare benefits. 

Mark Spencer

“The role farmers play in putting food on our tables as well as looking after our countryside is crucial,” Minister Spencer said.

“We know that sustainable food production depends on a healthy environment, the two go hand in hand.  

“Helping farms invest in new technology as well as bringing in nature-friendly schemes will support the future of farming.”  

The government has also confirmed that it plans to introduce funding to promote enhanced productivity, innovation and improved animal health and welffare in smaller abattoirs.

“If farming is to flourish then we need to get the fundamentals right – abattoirs are key to the food supply chain and there is clearly a need to support smaller providers in this area,” Minister Spencer added. 

“The availability of funding will help abattoirs to invest in new technology and improve productivity and animal health and welfare, allowing our agriculture sector to get its high-quality produce to market.”