Farmers can now apply for the £30 million ‘Adding Value Grant’ which has been released by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) as part of the Farming Transformation Fund. It allows farmers to apply for grants between £25,000 and £300,000 to support the purchase of up to 40% of eligible project costs; enabling eligible farmers to become more diverse and productive - in line with the Agricultural Transition Act.
The Adding Value Grant, which has a closing date for online applications of 21st July 2022, will pay for capital items that enable farmers to add value to agricultural products; for example, the creation or expansion of farm shops, multi produce vending machines, milk processing (such as milk to cheese) and vegetable processing (such as potatoes to crisps).
Commenting on the announcement, Jamie Oliver, Associate Farm Business Consultant said: “This is a real opportunity for farmers to introduce a new income stream into their farming business as direct support through the Basic Payment Scheme reduces. To put that into perspective, we are seeing more and more that next generation farmers are returning home from their studies looking to join the family business, however, it is common that the farming operation isn’t large enough to support another partner. Grants such as The Adding Value Grant give farmers the opportunity to create additional income streams into their existing operation without affecting the family values of the business.”
Farmers can apply for the grant if they are a grower/producer of agricultural products or a business processing agricultural/horticultural products which is at least 50% owned by agricultural or horticultural producers. The land on which the grant-funded asset is installed or built must either be owned by the applicant business or have a tenancy agreement between the applicant business and the landowner in place until five years after the project has been completed.
Commenting further, Jamie said: “The Adding Value Grant is really a continuation of the previous RDPE Countryside Productivity Grant and the Rural Growth Programme. Through these schemes, we achieved £10 million of grant funding for our clients across numerous projects such as grain store and processing, potato chipping and vending machines, with an objective to become more resilient and more profitable by shortening the supply chain and instead selling direct to customers rather than wholesale.
It is a critical time in Agriculture as subsidy payments are due to decrease, and crucial that farmers analyse their business and diversify, or invest, to secure their future. Six weeks is a short window of opportunity, and we advise any farmers that have been thinking about projects that will increase and/or improve their processing to get in touch as soon as possible to explore their opportunities.”
Farmers should expect eligible capital items to include:
· equipment for preparing or processing edible agricultural products for added value sales
· equipment for ‘second stage’ processing of grain - for example, colour sorting, blending
· equipment for processing non-edible agricultural products into new products (for example, flax, hemp, wool, hides, and skins)
· equipment for retailing eligible agricultural products (for example, vending machines or display facilities)
· premises for the preparation or processing of added value agricultural products, including associated integral storage areas.
If you would like further advice on how the Adding Value Grant can benefit your agricultural business, please get in touch with Jamie Oliver on firstname.lastname@example.org.