Defra are looking for input from arborists in developing a list of items for inclusion in the new Farming Equipment and Technology Fund.
Defra and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) plan to launch the Farming and Equipment Technology Fund (FETF) in England in the Autumn of 2021. This scheme will be part of the Farming Investment Fund. The Fund will provide grants to farmers, foresters and growers (including contractors to these sectors).
The Farming Equipment & Technology Fund will provide targeted support to businesses so that they can invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure that will improve agricultural and forestry productivity in a sustainable way, supporting a competitive and thriving agricultural sector, with a reduced impact on the environment. The full details of the scheme are in development, our working assumptions are based on a maximum grant of £25,000 with an intervention rate of 40%, which means items costing up to £62,500 could be eligible for the list.
Defra and RPA are preparing a list of items for inclusion in the new Farming Equipment and Technology Fund.
We are looking for your or your members support/input in developing this list by:
- Identifying new items to be included
- Reviewing the items offered in Round 3 of the Countryside Productivity small grant scheme.
FETF will aim to deliver the following policy outcomes:
- Improve agricultural productivity
- Contribute to improved Animal Health and Welfare
- Encourage more sustainable pesticide usage
- Improve air and water quality
- Reduce GHG emissions in line with Net Zero targets
- Reduce unsustainable use of abstracted water
- Encourage sustainable management of woodlands
Any item to be potentially included must therefore contribute to at least one or more of these. In addition, potential items for the FETF list must meet all the following criteria:
- Be new - no second-hand items
- Be available “off the shelf” ideally short manufacture and delivery periods
- Funded equipment must be retained and used for five years after grant has been paid
- Cost less than £62,500, and
- Must not require approval for installation or use by a third party e.g. must not require planning permission, or consent from the EA to install or operate the equipment.
Suggestions for eligible items for the Farming and Equipment and Technology fund
We are seeking suggestions for items to be considered for inclusion into the new FETF. When suggesting new items please provide a brief explanation how the item will benefit the sector or sectors and how it would contribute to the above policy outcomes. If there is a specification for the item, it would be helpful to attach this to your reply as this would ensure we have a clear understanding of the item you are suggesting for inclusion. If you have more than 5 suggestions, please prioritise the list as it will help us focus the scheme fairly across the eligible sectors, should we need to. We have provided some guidance on specifications below.
Review of items offered in Round 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants (CPSG) scheme
We would like your feedback on whether any of the items or specifications we offered are out of date because of new products entering the market. If so, please explain what needs to be changed and provide a revised specification, or whether it should be removed (and why). Details of the list of items included in Round 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme (CPSG) can be found at annex 3 in the current handbook at:
Specifications are a key aspect of the scheme as they ensure applicants understand what equipment is eligible for funding support and are used to establish a standard cost for the item.
The specification must be robust enough to enable a standard cost to be determined without favouring one manufacturer over another. It is important not to provide too general a specification as this allows lower quality alternatives to be purchased, giving rise to inequalities in the grant rates being awarded.
We would like any feedback you may wish to make regarding the list of items by close of play, 12 February 2021. Please note that it may not be possible to include all items or changes suggested, but we will look for future opportunities to test the list of items to ensure feedback to the industry on any suggestions made, or reserve them for use at a later time.
Please email comments to both firstname.lastname@example.org and Jonathan.King@rpa.gov.uk
Please e-mail your comments to email@example.com as we will collate a sector list for DEFRA.