MINISTERS ON Tuesday (May 4) pledged the first instalment of a planned £2.5m five-year grant to boost efforts to help farmers work together to get more competitive and profitable.

English Farming and Food Partnerships will get £500,000 this year, and the government intends to provide funding at the same level in each of the next four years.

DEFRA‘s new grant will pay for a range of activities to be agreed between ministers and EFFP.

Farming and food minister Lord Whitty told an EFFP conference on collaborating for profit:

“EFFP is there to help farmers be more profitable. The government wants EFFP to succeed and wants our farmers to succeed.”

“A stronger, more efficient farming industry able to respond better to the needs of its customers and to take advantage of a growing international market will benefit the whole food chain and related rural businesses.

“With the support of EFFP, government and regional bodies England‘s farmers can be competitive at home and abroad, and deliver the economic, social and environmental benefits we all want to see,” Lord Whitty said.