Agriculture: Digital Technology

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 23rd March 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) incentivise and (b) encourage farmers and growers to use digital technology to boost productivity in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We want to encourage a thriving and competitive farming sector where farms can be profitable and economically sustainable without subsidy.

Digital technology has a significant role to play. For farmers and growers, a reliable mobile and broadband connection can unlock a range of benefits, such as increased farm productivity through improved planning, monitoring and delivery of farming operations and aiding the diversification of their businesses.

We are helping farmers and growers through a number of schemes designed to incentivise and encourage the use of digital technology.

In autumn 2021, we will launch the Farming Investment Fund, formed of two strands.

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will support smaller investments from a prescribed list of items which we are developing. This will provide farmers and growers with the opportunity to invest in the equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help their businesses to prosper, while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment.

The Farming Transformation Fund will support more substantial investments in equipment, technology or infrastructure. Eligible investments could include precision slurry application equipment, efficient irrigation systems, and robotic systems for example.

In 2022, we will launch an ambitious innovation programme, putting farming businesses at the centre of R&D for new technologies and practices - including digital capabilities - to transform the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.