UK Government Invests £31 Million in Farming Equipment and Technology to Boost Sustainability
The UK government has allocated £31 million to enhance farm productivity and promote sustainable food production through the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF).
The UK government just announced a significant investment of £31 million in new equipment and technology to enhance farm productivity and promote sustainable food production. This funding, available through the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF), aims to support farmers in adopting innovative practices that reduce inputs, minimize emissions, and reduce waste.
The FETF offers grants to successful applicants, enabling them to acquire over 90 pieces of equipment that can contribute to various aspects of farming. These include rainwater harvesting tanks, which help combat water scarcity during summer months, and tree shears that aid in preventing the spread of pests and diseases. Additionally, equipment facilitating slurry management will be available to minimize grass contamination and ammonia emissions.
"The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund provides funding to farming businesses so they can invest in the tools they need 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," explained the UK government.
The response to the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry grants has been overwhelming, with over 3,000 applications received thus far. Consequently, the funding allocation has been increased from £17 million to £31 million to meet the high demand.
Furthermore, the government has expanded the range of eligible items under the scheme, encompassing 21 additional equipment types. These include camera-guided inter-row sprayers, designed to reduce herbicide usage, and mulchers for forestry, orchards, and vineyards, which enhance carbon retention in the soil and decrease input costs.
Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Food and Farming, emphasized the enthusiasm displayed by farmers in embracing productive and sustainable farming practices. She stated, "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."
Coffey further highlighted the significance of empowering farms with financial resources to invest in new equipment. This approach ensures that farmers, growers, and foresters have the necessary tools to adopt innovative solutions, protect the environment, and contribute to a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector.
The FETF 2023 initiative forms part of the UK government's broader commitment to invest £2.4 billion annually in farming throughout this parliamentary term. This year alone, £168 million has been allocated to enhance farming productivity, support research, and foster innovation.
The government's investment in farming equipment and technology reflects its commitment to promoting sustainability, improving productivity, and safeguarding the environment. By enabling farmers to adopt cutting-edge practices and tools, the UK aims to build a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector for the future.