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How contract rearers can apply for Countryside Productivity grants

5th Aug 2019 / By Alistair Driver

Businesses that rear pigs under contract are eligible for grants under the Countryside Productivity Scheme, providing they have an existing farming business as their primary source of income.

Producers now have just over a month for apply for grants of up to 40% for equipment, including a number of specific options for indoor and outdoor producers, worth £15 million in total under the latest round of the scheme

NPA senior policy advisor Ed Barker sought clarification from the Rural Payments Agency after queries were raised over the status of producers keeping pigs under contract.  

The agency said it was unable to fund solely contract rearing businesses, as they are not covered under the funding measure the scheme supports, but that existing farming businesses rearing pigs under contract were eligible.

“When applying, applicants will be asked to provide justification for their application of pig equipment when they themselves do not own the animal – this will be clearly marked on the application portal,” the agency said. 

“It is paramount at this stage that applicants explain that they are farming business that undertake some pig contracting and provide information of the (average/estimated) amount of pigs reared per year under their business.

 “They will also need to provide detail of their main farming business, to demonstrate that the farming aspect, not the pig rearing, is the main activity undertaken by the business. These comments will assist us in determining the eligibility of a business to apply.”

About the scheme 

The scheme has opened for its second round of funding in July, with specific options available for pig producers.

Farm businesses can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to help them invest in new and innovative technology.

Under this round, 26 new items have been added to the list of equipment available, including some that will benefit pig businesses, useful options for both indoor and outdoor systems, Ed explained.

The pig-specific options include: fixed handling systems for pigs (indoor and outdoor), electronic pig weighing and sorting systems, weigh bars, piglet creeps, monitoring cameras, ammonia analysers, a new item that can be used to check the levels of ammonia in farm buildings.

More details... 

  • Grants are provided for 40% of costs up to a ceiling and are available for all farm types, including livestock, horticulture and arable businesses.
  • Farmers and rural businesses will have eight weeks to submit an application for this funding, with a deadline of midday, September 3.
  • You can read more about the pig-specific options and the payment rates here:
  • Pig producers might also benefit from some of the general livestock options. An overview of all the options is available in the annex here
  • The application form is available on