£27 million has today (Tuesday, November 16) been made available for farmers to invest in productivity-boosting equipment, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Rural Payments Agency have announced in an official statement.

The Farming Investment Fund will allow farmers, foresters and growers from across England to buy new equipment and infrastructure to help improve efficiency and ‘build back greener’.

This could include solar powered electric fences, water treatment systems that use ultraviolet light rather than chemicals and cameras for livestock monitoring.

The Farming Investment Fund

It will be split across two strands; the first being the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. This will focus on smaller grants for equipment from a set list, including electronic seeders and chemical-free disinfection systems, and will provide grants between £2,000 and £25,000.

The second, the Farming Transformation Fund, will cover more substantial technology with the potential to transform business performance. This strand will focus initially on water management, with grants available to improve water use on farms for things like crop irrigation and constructing on-farm reservoirs.

This strand will provide grants between £35,000 and £500,000.

“I’m pleased to offer support to eligible farmers through the new Farming Investment Fund to invest in technology and infrastructure to boost productivity and deliver environmental benefits,” said farming minister Victoria Prentis.

Investing in new technology and equipment on farm has a real impact on productivity and yields, as well as a benefit for the environment as we build on the historic commitments of COP 26.”

The deadline for applications to the first strand is January 7, 2022 at midday. For the second fund, applicants have until June 30, 2022, and there is also an online eligibility checker for this strand.