From August this year, farmers and land managers will be able to access business support to help them navigate the seven-year transition period laid out by the Government now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union or the Common Agricultural Policy.
The Future Farming Resilience Fund has £10.7 million available, with funding awarded to nineteen organisations to offer support to those in receipt of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments. The support will be available free of charge and runs through to March 2022. Any BPS recipients are eligible to apply.
The Government has urged farmers and land managers to sign up for the scheme, which aims to deliver direct benefits including:
- Help understand the changes that are happening as a result of the Agricultural Transition;
- Identify how, what and when you may need to adapt your business model;
- Access tailored support to address these changes.
The lessons learned from these support sessions will feed into the design of a final phase, which will be available from 2022 to 2024.
Farming minister Victoria Prentis said: “We know that change can be challenging which is why we are committed to helping farmers and land managers throughout the agricultural transition to feel supported to make the best decisions for their farms, families and future.
“As we continue to co-design and develop the future schemes it is important that the industry has access to expert support and knowledge. So I urge farmers and land managers to sign up to the Future Farming Resilience Fund now to ensure that come August they are able to use the help that is available to them.”
The Agricultural Transition Plan
The Government has committed to working with farmers and land managers to co-design the future Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) and wider support. Earlier this month the environment secretary announced further details of how farmers will receive payments for the Sustainable Farming Incentive, the first of three schemes, with farmers able to access up to £70 per hectare for improving the health of their soil.
A new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme was also launched in July, which will provide funding to help farmers and land managers in England who are based in national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Funding will go towards on-off projects to support nature recovery, improve public access, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to enjoy and understand the landscape, and support nature-friendly and sustainable farm businesses. Projects could include creating ponds or other wetlands to support wildlife, providing new or easier public access and links to public rights of way, conserving historic features on farm or taking action to reduce carbon emissions or the use of plastics.
The Government also launched a consultation on the lump sum exit scheme and delinked payments, which it hopes will offer a fairer system for farmers and encourage generational change by providing flexibility for new entrants to start farm businesses while supporting those ready to leave the sector.
Organisations offering support through the Future Farming Resilience Fund
The following nineteen organisations will share £10.7 million to offer support to farmers and land managers to navigate the transition period:
- Brown & Co
- Bury Beet Group
- Ceres Rural LLP
- Devon County Council
- DJM Consulting
- JH Agri Consultancy
- Kite Consulting
- Landworkers Alliance
- Laurence Gould Partnership
- M B Hodgson & Son Limited
- Natural Enterprise
- Promar International
- Ricardo-AEA Ltd
- RSK ADAS Limited
- The Prince’s Countryside Fund
Further information can be found on Defra’s Farming is Changing blog