Scott Mann MP has welcomed the award of £1,262,905 to farmers and foresters in the constituency as part of DEFRA’s Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. This will help growers in North Cornwall to boost farm productivity, reduce waste and cut input costs, as well as increase environmental sustainability and improve slurry management.
The Government has increased the budget to £31 million in response to farmer demand from the original budget of £17 million. This means more than 3,000 farmers and contractors are set to receive grants to invest in improving the sustainability of their farm businesses.
Through the fund there is an offer of investment in over 90 pieces of equipment which will support food security by, for example, reducing the spread of pests and diseases and sustainably managing valuable nutrients on farms. Examples of successful applications include rainwater harvesting tanks to improve water security 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 forms part of the Government’s manifesto commitment to invest £2.4 billion per year in farming for the rest of this Parliament. In 2023 alone, at least £168 million is being made available to increase farming productivity through 16 different grants and competitions themed around productivity, research and innovation.
Commenting, Scott Mann MP said:
“This is an excellent programme which I have been very supportive of, and I am pleased that the Government is continuing to deliver on our pledges for North Cornwall.
“I am aware that the Secretary of State plans to offer further rounds of this offer, alongside larger grants to support further investment in water storage and improving irrigation slurry infrastructure, as well as funding for automation and robotics. This sits alongside our Environmental Land Management schemes, where payments for over 200 actions are currently available to farmers across the country.”
This announcement follows the UK Farm to Fork Summit held in 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 developing and adopting new technologies and techniques.