While the push toward agricultural development in recent times has been thought to be the domain of developing economies, the United Kingdom has begun its own investment in the sector. According to a UK government press release in February, a £60 million grant scheme has been introduced to bolster and support dairy farming in the island nation.
Through the UK Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, farmers will be able to access farm equipment grants ranging in size from £3,000-£12,000. The goal of the project is to increase productivity through better equipment and the use of advance technology. The scheme was showcased in February at the annual Dairy-Tech exhibition held in Stonleigh, Warwickshire UK. Dairy-Tech is an annual, one-day exhibition hosted by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) designed to showcase the latest innovation in dairy and agricultural technology in the UK.
As Brexit (the UK’s exit from the European Union), draws near and the crackdown on illegal immigration continues, Brittain appears to be fortifying itself for a more independently sustainable future. It is clear the UK government is seeking to create more productive and efficient farmers at home, rather than looking abroad.
“The dairy industry is our largest agricultural sector,” said UK Farming Minister George Eustice, “ . . . and we want to make sure farmers can become more resilient, competitive and able to capitalise on the growing global interest in quality British produce as we leave the EU.”
According to data from the UK Office for National Statistics, the services sector comprises nearly three-quarters of the United Kingdom’s GDP. The ONS reports that the services sector continues to expand, while the UK agricultural industry has fallen precipitously since 1948.
While the UK is not in all bad sorts, it is unquestionably preparing itself to be more competitive in its decided post European Union future—one less dependent on immigrant labor and critical imports. A stronger push toward strengthening local industries has already begun. Just last year the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs through the Countryside Productivity Scheme, created grant opportunities for grants up to £35,000 to support farming projects that increased productivity and maximized resources.