Published: 26/01/2024 By George WhittakerThe second round of DEFRA Improving Farm Productivity Grants have been announced, releasing details of grant funding for robotic equipment and solar PV systems with a deadline for applications on Thursday 21 March 2024.
On the 25th January, DEFRA opened the second round of the Improving Farm Productivity Grant, open to farmers, growers and related contractors. It will pay for capital items to improve farm and horticulture productivity for the following items:
- Robotic and Automated Equipment - to aid crop and livestock production – the minimum grant available is £25,000, the maximum grant available is £500,000. The grant will now cover up to 50% of the cost.
- Examples - Voluntary robotic milking systems, Feeding robots and Slurry robots.
- Solar PV Systems - to increase both energy resilience and the take-up of renewable energy generation on farms – the minimum grant available is £15,000, the maximum grant available is £100,000. The grant will cover up to 25% of the cost.
- Example – Roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems for farm power but can include batteries and power can be connected to export surplus power back to the National grid.
As was the case in the first round, there is a 2-step application process for this round.
- Online checker The process starts with an online eligibility checker designed to determine eligibility and how well your project fits the funding priorities. It includes various questions on the type of equipment to be funded and the outcome is instant. Depending on the outcome of the checker, applicants will be invited to make a full application.
- THE CHECKER IS NOW LIVE, AND IT WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR 8 WEEKS WITH A DEADLINE OF THURSDAY 21 MARCH AT 23:59
- Full application Those invited to make a full application have until 30 June 2025 to apply. Information required to be submitted in the full application includes:
- a breakdown of project costs and supplier details
- key dates and project milestones
- proposed project outputs and financial impact forecast
- explanation of how the project will be funded
- how it will make your business more efficient and improve its productivity
- details of agricultural inputs and outputs and how this might change
- proof of planning permission (if required)
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