tractor in field

Farmers will receive £22million in grants from the government in a bid to boost productivity and innovation across British agriculture.

The money comes from the Small Grants Scheme which is releasing funds to agricultural businesses to innovate and improve technology on farms.

Farming Minister George Eustice confirmed that all eligible applications have been approved as part of round two of the successful scheme, with the Rural Payments Agency writing to 3,677 successful applicants.

Under the scheme, farmers can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in new and innovative equipment – from livestock monitoring cameras to precision farming technology – which help businesses save time and money and improve productivity.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Boosting farm productivity is hugely important, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to fund all applications, supporting farmers to invest in game-changing technology.

“As a former farmer I know that new equipment can provide a real boost, saving businesses time and money while improving yields.

“When we introduce our landmark Agriculture Bill we will set out further measures to help farmers become more productive, efficient and resilient.”

The first round of funding opened in 2018, with £15 million spent to support farmers investing in technology to boost their productivity. The latest announcement means that £37 million has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with a third and final funding round to open in autumn 2020.

The Rural Payments Agency is encouraging farmers to speak to their suppliers before 10 November to see if the items they want to order are available under the scheme.

Rural Payments Agency chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “The Small Grants scheme is extremely popular with farmers, so it is fantastic to see the funding is being made available for all the eligible applications we received for round two.

“Harnessing innovative technology can provide a real boost for productivity across the farming sector in England, and I am delighted that we are able to help unlock access to new equipment for many farmers.”