Small Grant Scheme gets a larger pot of money

A government funded small grant scheme where famers can buy the equipment required for growth and improvement on their farms is still open, but the deadline is fast approaching. There is still plenty of money available for the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, which can be used for purchases that either improve technical efficiency, resource management, nutrient management and animal health and welfare.

These grants can be used to cover 40 percent of the cost of purchase (50% if you are in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly) for equipment that matches the criteria and for a value of between £3,000 – £12,000. Famers who have already applied in the first round of applications can do so again providing the total of both applications still comes below the value of £12,000. The deadline for all applications is Midday on Tuesday 3rd September. Once an application has been made and the deadline passed the Rural Payments Agency will contact famers to inform them on if it has been successful or not.

It is advised that famers check with the suppliers regarding delivery for the Items as any approved applications must be claimed within 150 days of been accepted to order, receive and pay for the equipment before the claim becomes invalid. Any equipment on the agreement would have to also be ordered after the agreement was made as well as evidence Invoices and Bank statements provided in order for farmers to successfully be repaid the money for their investment.

£150K Boost to agri-food production projects

£150,000 has been awarded to three universities for projects related to Internet of Things technologies aiming to boost agri-food production. These technologies are been exclusively developed foe the agri-food industry.

The Universities are the University of Aberdeen, the University of Sterling and the University of Nottingham. It is expected that these projects will last a period of six months. These pilot projects will be presenting their findings at the Internet of Food things Network Plus Conference in Lincoln which is been held from the 17th to the 19th of September.

The three projects are:

Aberdeen – Improved food safety in B2B and B2C food delivery through IoT

Stirling – Use of sensors to improve Pig productivity

Nottingham – IoT Enhanced Factory Cleaning

With the recent announcement of better access to networks from Ofcom as well projects like this will likely become more common in research as well as actual deployment in the Industry. We wish them the best of luck with their efforts.