News and blog News stories [28.10.19] RPA PRESS RELEASE: Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme £3.5 million awarded to farmers across the South West to boost productivity All eligible applications for farm productivity grants have been approved in round two of popular grants scheme 744 applications from farmers in Devon and Cornwall are approved, unlocking access over £3.5 million funding for the region Deadline of midnight 10 November for farmers to accept their offer, ahead of ordering their items from suppliers More than £3.5 million has been awarded to farmers in the South west, where 744 eligible applications worth £4,603,713 can be taken forward when farmers accept their offers, 449 applications coming from Devon with the other 295 from farmers in Cornwall. In total, more than 3,600 farmers are set to benefit from £22 million in productivity-boosting equipment under round two of the government’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme. Under the scheme, farmers can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in new and innovative equipment – from livestock monitoring cameras to precision farming technology – which help businesses save time and money and improve productivity. Farming Minister George Eustice confirmed today that all eligible applications have been approved as part of round two of the successful scheme, with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) writing to the 3,677 successful applicants from today. The first round of funding opened in 2018, with £15 million spent to support farmers investing in technology to boost their productivity. Today’s announcement means that £37 million has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with a third and final funding round to open in autumn 2020. Farming Minister George Eustice said: “The South West is synonymous with dairy farming, with Cornish cream and Devon milk enjoyed across the country and recognised internationally. “It’s fantastic to see as many as 744 farmers in Devon and Cornwall signing up to this grants scheme, with over £4 million in funding going to farmers to spend on game-changing technology. “As innovative equipment can be costly, this scheme exists to contribute to items such as weighing crates and heat detection systems which make life in the milking parlour easier, more efficient, and boost animal welfare.” The RPA is encouraging farmers to speak to their suppliers to confirm the items they wish to order are available before accepting their grant by using the CPSG acceptance portal on GOV.UK by 10 November. New items were added to the list of the equipment available for the second round of the Small Grants Scheme, with grants available to minimise soil compaction in fields, monitor ammonia levels in farm buildings, and increase machinery precision when applying slurry. Farmers are encouraged to make early orders to leave time for deliveries to arrive and payment claims to be processed by the end of May 2020. Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said: “The Small Grants scheme is extremely popular with farmers, so it is fantastic to see the funding is being made available for all the eligible applications we received for round two. Harnessing innovative technology can provide a real boost for productivity across the farming sector in England, and I am delighted that we are able to help unlock access to new equipment for many farmers. “I would encourage all our customers to contact their suppliers early to ensure their items can be delivered ahead of the claim deadline.” More information on the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme can be found here.