New funding for technology will boost farming sustainability, says Environment Secretary

New funding for technology will boost farming sustainability, says Environment Secretary
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 20/02/2024

- 09:27

Updated: 20/02/2024

- 09:37

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has said that a £220 million package of funding to boost technology in farming will make food production more sustainable.

He told GB News: “We're absolutely committed to backing British farming. We produce amongst the best food in the world and what this is doing, it's doubling the grants for equipment, for technology to drive better productivity to make our farms more sustainable.

“It's focusing much more on food security and food production. So it's helping with costs, for example, of pesticides and sprays and various things on farms to bring those costs down, and to make the most of the technology that is available so we drive up productivity on farms and allow our farmers to compete across the world.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, he said the Government is also introducing measures to reduce bureaucracy.

He said: “We're going to streamline that red tape will make it easier for people to apply for schemes instead of having lots of different schemes bring those together. It makes it easier in terms of the form filling and also makes sure that the payments get to farmers much quicker as well.

“So, it’s really listening to what the farmers say, that's why the Prime Minister is here at the NFU conference today. It’s the work that I am doing with the NFU and with the farming community to listen to what they want us to do in terms of cutting red tape and respond to that.”

He added: “We had under the EU a very sort of bureaucratic system, 50% of the money went to the 10% of largest farms.

“It was based on the size of farm, it didn't respond to innovation. It didn't respond to technology, and also legislating as well with things like our gene precision legislation so that we can use the latest science to boost our farming as well.

“It's about having farming in a way that works with the environment that is designed for what we need in England specifically, and isn't just based on a bureaucratic formula, which was the case in the EU.”


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