Improving Farm Productivity grants – Round 2

DEFRA have recently announced that a second round of the Improving Farm Productivity grant, available under the Farming Investment Fund, will be opening in a few weeks.

The theme of the second round is “robotic and automatic machinery and the use of solar equipment” and will pay for capital items to improve farm and horticultural productivity through:

  • The use of robotic and automated equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production
  • The installation of solar equipment to increase energy resilience and the take-up of renewable energy generation on farm

The RPA will prioritise funding of projects that:

  • Improve productivity
  • Improve the environment
  • Introduce innovation
  • Introduce technology to address labour shortage (farm productivity projects)

The more your project meets the grant priorities, the higher your application will score.

Farm Productivity – Robotic an automated equipment grant:

The minimum grant available has been reduced to £25,000 and the maximum grant available remains at £500,000 with the grant covering up to 40% of the cost of eligible items.

You can apply if you are a farmer or horticulturalist in England or a contractor with a registered business address in England.

This grant can pay for:

  • Harvesting technology
  • Weeding technology
  • Robotic spraying technology
  • Driverless tractors or platforms
  • Voluntary robotic milking system
  • Feeding robots
  • Transplanting technology
  • Slurry robots
  • Advanced ventilation control units
  • Wavelength specific LED lighting for horticultural crops

Solar equipment grant:

The grant available is £15,000-£100,000 and will cover 25% of the cost of eligible items.

Farmers and horticulturalists in England are eligible to apply however, contractors are not eligible for this element of the grant.

This grant can pay for:

  • Solar PV panels
  • Solar batteries
  • Inverters
  • Utility meters
  • Electrical grid connections
  • Power diverters

Solar PV panels funded by this grant can only be mounted on farm building rooftops and irrigation reservoirs.


DEFRA have not yet released the deadline for application, but we do know that the online eligibility checker will open some time in January and run to March. The eligibility checker will determine the likelihood of applications being successful and subsequently invited to submit a full application for this competitive grant scheme.

If you wish to apply for items under both the Solar and Farm Productivity sections of the grant then 2 separate applications must be submitted with the maximum combined grant across both applications being no more than £500,000, per applicant business.

If this is something you are interested in and would like to discuss further please contact Chris Muir on 01904 489731.


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