Third tranche of FBIS Tier 1 to open for applications in NI

The third tranche of Tier 1 of Northern Ireland’s Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital (FBIS-C), will open for applications on November 2, 2020, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced.

A total of £7.5 million has been allocated for this tranche of Tier 1, which supports smaller-scale investments to improve the sustainability of farm businesses.

The scheme will support the purchase of equipment and machinery, costing from m£5,000 to £30,000, from a list of eligible items.

Announcing the opening for applications, Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to announce the re-opening of Tier 1 FBIS Capital. In what has been a very challenging year for our farmers, this third tranche is a timely boost for agriculture and horticulture with £7.5million allocated for projects.

“This will build upon the success of the previous two tranches of Tier 1, which provided £14.4 million grant support to over 3,000 farmers and growers.”

Low-emission slurry spreading equipment

Minister Poots has encouraged farm businesses to invest in low-emission slurry spreading equipment through the FBIS.

He said: “Bearing in the mind the deadlines within the Nutrient Action Programme 2019-22 and the issues posed by localised ammonia emissions, I want to encourage the early uptake of low-emission slurry spreading equipment.

For that reason,  low-emission slurry spreading equipment, such as trailing hose, trailing shoe, soil incorporation or soil injection methods, will be contained within their own item banding (along with slurry covers and slurry scrapers), and allocated the highest item score.

A department spokesman confirmed the minister was also reviewing options for a second tranche of Tier 2 of FBIS-Capital, which is designed to offer support to projects costing more than £30,000.