FETF funding released for sustainable food production and emissions reduction projects

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The next round of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) has been released today, with a total of £31m available to support projects aimed at boosting sustainable food production and reducing emissions and waste.

Grants can be awarded under the Productivity and Slurry budget to help cover the costs of over 90 pieces of equipment from rainwater harvesting tanks to reduce water scarcity for farmers in the summer; tree shears to help stop the spread of pests and diseases; to equipment to minimise grass contamination and ammonia emissions when spreading slurry.

The fund provides support to allow farming businesses to invest in the tools required to improve sustainable production across agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Productivity and Slurry grants will specifically support the procurement of equipment and technology that will help farmers use fewer inputs, reduce emissions and cut waste.

Over 3,000 applications have been received for the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry grants and the government is matching this high demand by increasing the total funding offered from £17 million to £31 million. This will ensure as many farmers as possible can claim for the equipment they need to run a profitable farming business.

Thérèse Coffey, secretary of state for food and farming, said: “The tremendous interest shown in the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry underscores the determination of our farmers to drive ever more productive and sustainable farming practices to keep food on our plates whilst protecting our important landscapes and habitats.

“By empowering farms to invest cash in new kit, we are ensuring our farmers, growers and foresters have the equipment they need to embrace innovation, protect the environment, and contribute to a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector.”

Productivity and Slurry fund

Items applied for in the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry government funding include:

  • Direct drill with fertiliser placement for precision drilling of arable and cover crops to help reduce crop establishment costs and increase efficiency of fertiliser usage. 250 applicants to be offered this grant worth £6.25m.
  • Robotic drill and guided hoe – an autonomous robotic vehicle which can precisely place seed in the ground and return to mechanically weed – this helps to reduce herbicide usage and associated costs. Ten applications accepted with a value of £250,000.
  • Rainwater harvesting tanks with a minimum capacity of 5,000 litres which will help to reduce water scarcity for farmers in the summer months. This equipment will now benefit 86 recipients with a value of £110,802.
  • Tree shears with the capacity to fell 300mm diameter trees to stop the spread of pests and diseases across woodlands. This funding helped 113 recipients with a total value of £363,747.
  • Dribble bars with a minimum working width of 6m designed to apply slurry to the soil surface as accurately as possible to minimise grass contamination and ammonia emissions. This equipment was made accessible to 94 farmers, amounting to a value of £403,200.
  • Direct drills with a width of 3m to conserve moisture and reduces soil erosion. This initiative assisted 129 applicants, totalling £1.555m in value.

The FETF 2023 is made up of two themes: Animal Health and Welfare, and Productivity and Slurry. The Animal Health and Welfare FETF 2023 has been given a separate portal to streamline the application process and has seen 66 new items added to its books. Applicants can still apply to the Animal Health and Welfare strand of FETF 2023 until June 15, 2023.

This announcement follows the Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street last month where the government announced a package of support for the farming sector, including new measures to ensure the sector remains at the forefront of adopting new technologies and techniques.

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