More than 3,800 farmers are set to benefit from £21 million in productivity-boosting equipment from the third and final round of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants (CPSG) scheme.
Farmers who successfully applied for Countryside Productivity grants are now being encouraged by the Rural Payment Agency to confirm the items they wish to order by January 18.
Under the scheme, grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 were available to invest in new and innovative equipment, including, for pigs, handling and weighing systems, piglet creeps, ammonia monitors and livestock monitoring cameras.
The Rural Payments Agency notified successful applicants of their awards in late November and is now encouraging farmers to speak to their suppliers to confirm the items they wish to order are available before accepting their grant by using the scheme’s acceptance portal by January 18.
Applicants have until midnight on May 31 to buy and install all their items, and submit their claim for payment. This deadline has been extended by two months to allow for potential delays caused by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
- More information on the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme can be found here.
- Applicants must submit their claim for payment to CPSGClaims@rpa.gov.uk following the guidance, particularly Annex 5, which can be found on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-productivity-scheme.
The announcement means that £60 million has been allocated to farmers investing in technology to boost their productivity since the scheme opened in 2018.
Although the CPSG scheme is closing, government support for the investment in technology will continue as outlined in the Agricultural Transition Plan.
As part of this, the government set out plans for the Farming Investment Fund which will support innovation and productivity. The fund will provide targeted support to businesses so that they can invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure that will improve their productivity and deliver environmental and other public benefits.
There will be two levels of the Farming Investment Fund:
- Farming Equipment and Technology Fund, which will offer small grants to contribute towards the purchase of a list of specified items
- Farming Transformation Fund, which will provide larger grants towards the cost of more substantial investments in equipment, technology or infrastructure, with the potential to transform business performance.
Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said: “I would encourage all our customers to contact their suppliers early to ensure their items can be delivered ahead of the claim deadline.”