Brussel sprouts
Credit score: Michael Brown

The horticultural sector is an important a part of the UK economic system. It contributed £4.3 billion in 2022. Decorative growers make a major contribution to selling wellbeing and contribute £1.5 billion to the economic system.  

Growers nourish the nation. Yearly, they produce greater than 3 million tonnes of over 300 totally different vegetables and fruit.

Many horticulture growers and farmers are already benefiting from our schemes and grants, serving to us to satisfy our dedication to supply at the very least 60% of the meals we devour within the UK as they deal with the surroundings.  

The horticulture trade in England is numerous. As such, we’ve a spread of various presents accessible for farmers and growers. 

Whether or not you develop carrots or strawberries, daffodils or apples there’s assist you’ll be able to entry to assist enhance your productiveness, enhance the surroundings and innovate.  

On this submit, we’ll summarise the schemes and grants horticultural famers and growers can entry now. It follows the post we published yesterday which looked at the new environmental land management actions for the sector.

A recap 

This yr will see the most important improve to farming schemes for the reason that begin of the agricultural transition. We’re rising fee charges by a median of 10% for Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship agreements.  

We’ll make round 50 new actions accessible this yr, together with actions to assist uptake of precision farming. It will allow horticulture farmers to scale back their use of expensive pesticides or fertilisers, in addition to enhance yields, productiveness, air and water high quality, and profit biodiversity and soil well being.  

We go into extra element concerning the assist accessible to the sector by Countryside Stewardship and SFI on this submit.  

By providing funds which assist agricultural expertise, akin to for robotics, automation and photo voltaic applied sciences, we’re serving to farmers and growers undertake new expertise or practices, to allow them to develop extra, promote extra and have extra resilient companies.  

Not solely will there be extra alternative, however the way in which you entry the supply will enhance. From summer time, there will probably be a streamlined single utility service to assist eligible farmers and growers apply for Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier actions. It’ll substitute separate utility home windows and processes.  

Farmers and growers may join as a member to entry the total complement of assets from The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH). TIAH, which is part-funded by Defra, will play a pivotal function in making a extremely expert, technically proficient workforce.  

Our prolonged supply builds on what’s already there and works effectively for companies, meals manufacturing and the pure surroundings.  

The update to the Agricultural Transition plan on GOV.UK units out additional particulars of our progress and plans.  

Environmental land administration schemes  

Farmers and growers producing subject horticulture crops and everlasting horticulture crops are eligible for a spread of funding underneath our environmental land administration schemes.

These schemes pay for sustainable farming practices and assist us to realize our 25 Year Environment Plan ambitions and carbon internet zero targets.

Farmers and growers could be in multiple scheme, so long as the actions they undertake are suitable and we’re not paying for a similar actions twice.  

Countryside Stewardship gives monetary incentives for farmers, foresters and land managers to take care of and enhance the surroundings. Farmers and growers within the horticulture sector can be paid to ship a spread of actions together with establishing flower mixes for wildlife, managing hedgerows, or creating and sustaining conventional orchards.  

The Sustainable Farming Incentive rewards farmers and growers for farming practices that assist produce meals sustainably and defend the surroundings.  

Farmers and growers can choose and select from a spread of actions on soils, built-in pest administration, nutrient administration and for farmland wildlife to create a suggestion that works for his or her enterprise.

The actions accessible now are summarised within the following desk. Even more actions will be available in the summer. 

Code  SFI Motion   Cost Fee

(per yr except acknowledged in any other case)

Subject horticulture
Everlasting horticulture crops 
SAM1  Assess soil, take a look at soil natural matter and produce a plan £6.00 per ha plus £97 per settlement Sure Sure
SAM2  Multi-species winter cowl crop £129 per ha Sure Sure
NEW Multi-species spring, summer time or autumn cowl crop £153 to £163 per ha Sure
SAM3  Natural leys £382 per ha Sure
Built-in Pest Administration
IPM1  Assess built-in pest administration and produce a plan £1,129 per settlement Sure Sure
IPM2  Flower-rich grass margins, blocks, or infield strip £798 per ha Sure Sure
IPM3   Companion crop on arable and horticultural land £55 per ha Sure Sure
IPM4  No use of insecticide on arable crops and everlasting crops £45 per ha Sure Sure
Nutrient Administration 
NUM1  Assess nutrient administration and produce a assessment report £652 per settlement Sure Sure
NUM3  Legume fallow £593 per ha Sure Sure
Actions for Farmland Wildlife
AHL1  Pollen and nectar flower combine £739 per ha Sure Sure
AHL2  Winter chook meals on arable and horticultural land £853 per ha Sure Sure
AHL3  Grassy subject corners and blocks £590 per ha Sure Sure
AHL4  4m to 12m grass buffer strip on arable and horticultural land £515 per ha Sure Sure


Farming Funding Fund   

The Farming Funding Fund presents grants to enhance productiveness and produce about environmental advantages. These are open to all kinds of horticultural enterprise, throughout each edible and decorative crops. 

Open now:  

  • The Farming Transformation Fund: Improving Farm Productivity grant pays for capital objects to enhance productiveness by the usage of robotic and automatic gear, or the set up of photo voltaic gear. Grants are value between £25,000 and £500,000, masking as much as 50% of the price of eligible objects for robotics and automatic gear.  For the photo voltaic grant, you’ll be able to apply for between £15,000 and £100,000, masking as much as 25% of prices. It’s open till Thursday 21 March 2024. 

New rounds of the next funds and grants will open later in 2024: 

  • The Farming Equipment & Technology Fund will present grants in direction of the price of revolutionary gear that can assist enhance productiveness and/or environmental sustainability. The following spherical is deliberate for early 2024 and can embrace a number of new objects of kit urged by the horticulture sector. 
  • The Farming Transformation Fund: Water Administration Grant gives grants of between £35,000 and £500,000 for funding in irrigation gear and the development of reservoirs, masking as much as 40% of prices.  

Farming Innovation Programme  

The Farming Innovation Programme is a part of Defra’s funding in innovation, analysis and improvement. These funds may also help horticulture farmers and growers to collaborate and discover concepts, examine if an thought works in observe, develop a brand new services or products, and work on long run improvements.  

These funds are open to horticultural companies, throughout each edible and decorative crops, in addition to agri-tech companies and analysis our bodies. There are two funding competitions open for functions now:  

  • Research Starter EOI: funding to analyze options to enhance productiveness, sustainability, resilience or for Web Zero, for tasks costing between £28,000 and £56,000. Open till 14 February 2024.   
  • Large R&D Partnerships: funding for bigger tasks costing between £3 million and £5 million.  It’s open till 13 March 2024. 

Fruit & Greens Assist scheme  

Fruit and vegetable growers who’re a part of a Producer Organisation (PO) have additionally been in a position to entry the EU-legacy Fruit & Greens Assist Scheme, which presents funding for actions that contribute to improved competitiveness, with specific concentrate on collaboration and productiveness.

This has been funded by Defra’s Farming Programme since October 2020. Producer Organistations who participate have been awarded round £40 million per yr in funding for a spread of various measures, together with these focusing on enhancing product high quality, together with environmental actions.  

On the No. 10 Farm to Fork Summit in Could final yr, the Prime Minister dedicated to interchange the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme  in the case of an finish after 2025.

Following this announcement, we’ve been working to assemble suggestions from the sector and are persevering with to work with producer organisations, cooperative growers, impartial growers, managed surroundings horticulture and consultant organisations to assist inform our general plans for designing the alternative.  

Vitality assist for Managed Surroundings Horticulture  

We’re conscious of the distinctive alternatives and challenges confronted by the Managed Surroundings Horticulture (CEH) sector. We’re working to enhance illustration of this sector in Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme and Farming Innovation Fund. For instance, we’re exploring increasing gear lists to cowl vertical farming and glasshouse rising gear. 

We’re additionally working with different departments to extend illustration of CEH in different division’s funding and assist schemes.

We labored with the Division for Vitality Safety and Web Zero to make sure the CEH sector is eligible to use for the upcoming Section 3 of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF). It is a £185 million fund for companies to chop their payments and carbon emissions by investing in vitality environment friendly and low carbon applied sciences.

Two utility home windows will run in 2024, with the primary opening within the spring.

As CEH is a newly eligible sector, we hope to carry a Q&A session with the IETF group quickly. If you want to be added to the invite record please e mail: 

Working with the horticulture sector 

We wish to create a suggestion that’s workable for each farmer and farm sort in England. With that in thoughts, we’ve labored onerous to make sure that the opinions of growers are usually not solely heard, but in addition form our schemes and assist for the sector.  

We’re additionally supporting the sector past our schemes. In December, we launched a assessment to enhance equity within the recent produce provide chain.

The Fresh Produce Supply Chain Review seeks the views of the trade on points together with the equity of contracts between producers and purchasers within the sector, and the way provide chain knowledge can be utilized to assist transparency within the negotiation course of.

All stakeholders with a hyperlink to the recent produce sector are invited to share their views earlier than the assessment closes on 22 February.  

We additionally introduced that in each 2023 and 2024, 45,000 visas will probably be accessible to assist horticultural companies. It will assist to sort out labour shortages and rising enter prices. 

Study extra at our webinars

At 11am on Wednesday 31 January, we’re internet hosting a webinar particularly concerning the Enhancing Farm Productiveness grant for horticulture farmers. Register to attend. 

At 2pm on Monday 12 February, you’ll be able to be taught extra about our vary of funding assist on supply by our farming schemes. Register to attend.  On this webinar, we are going to clarify what is out there for horticulture farmers and growers throughout each the edible and decorative sectors within the present supply. You’ll have the ability to put your inquiries to the group.  


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