Defra approves new farming and forestry grants
Around one thousand rural farms and businesses should soon be able to turn business plans into reality as the first grants from the new £20 million Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme are approved by Defra.
Farmers, foresters and horticulturalists can receive grants of up to £25,000 to invest in green projects and new machinery, with the funding backing new profit-boosting green schemes that:
Save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
Reduce dependence on artificial fertilizers through better use of manures.
Improve soil quality.
Improve animal health and welfare.
Save and recycle water.
Promote woodland management by processing timber more efficiently.
Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 will cover 40% of the total cost of projects, with up to 50% funding available for projects in upland areas.
The scheme is part of Defra’s £100 million package of investments through the Rural Development Programme for England announced in the Rural Economy Growth Review in November 2011.
Farming Minister, Jim Paice, comments: “Grants of thousands of pounds will allow businesses to adopt greener and more efficient ways of working that will protect and improve the environment as well as grow the rural economy.”