Farmers and food processors are to get a £40 million productivity boost following the launch of a new grants scheme giving them access to cutting-edge technology and equipment.
Speaking at the opening of the 2017 World Dairy Summit in Belfast (Oct 29 – Nov 3), the Secretary of State invites industry representatives to apply for grants under the Countryside Productivity Scheme.
They are available to horticultural farmers as well as food processors, to improve farm productivity through investing in new technology, including robotics, to reduce cost or improve product quality.
The scheme also offers investment opportunities in new equipment and machinery to improve the processing of milk, meat and fruit.
“Farmers truly are the backbone of our rural economy and as the original friends of the earth, we want to support them to grow more, sell more and export more great British produce – all while doing good for our environment,” said Michael Gove.
“This new funding is a wonderful opportunity for our farmers and food processors to invest in the technology they need to boost productivity, competition and, of course, sustainability as a key factor in future proofing our world-leading food and farming industry.”
The Countryside Productivity Scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and this latest announcement is the second phase of the Large Grants scheme announced in July 2017.
The first phase of the scheme included a £6 million fund for Improving forestry productivity and a £14 million scheme for water resource management.