Ready, Steady, No – Farming Investment Fund Postponed
Sebastian MurrayNov, 03 2021 1 min read
The much anticipated launch of the new Farming Investment Fund has been postponed by DEFRA until later this month. This is a frustrating and concerning delay in the release of the new scheme that sits under the Agricultural Transition Plan. It would be reasonable for farmers to feel frustrated that the solid dates set for the removal of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) are not being matched with equally solid dates for the implementation of new schemes fuelled by the re-directed BPS funds.
Those looking to make capital purchases on farm will be waiting to assess the compatibility of potential projects with the Farming Investment Fund and this delay will further stagnate investment. To date, we have learned the fund should cover both small equipment purchases that improve productivity and larger capital projects that transform farm businesses. The fund will be based on the previous Small Grant Scheme and Countryside Productivity scheme. These funding channels have previously provided 40% grant support for eligible projects, which have ranged from direct drills to the construction of reservoirs, introduction of robotic weeders and investment into robotic milking parlours. This delay is especially unwelcome news at a time when farm businesses are scrutinising costs and seeking opportunities to improve productivity in preparation for the removal of the BPS.