£12.5m Defra sustainable farm-based protein competition opens

A Defra competition is now welcoming candidates, with the aim of supporting those running projects to help increase the domestic production of healthy and sustainable protein. 

The competition is part of the Government’s £270m Farming Innovation Programme, which is run in partnership with UK Research and Innovation’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.

Farmers, growers, foresters, businesses and researchers are being invited to apply, as the government attempts to accelerate the development of novel and disruptive technologies that will create new sources of resource efficient, low-emission proteins: for a more sustainable future farming model.

The competition will be split into ‘Feasibility’ projects (up to two years), and ‘Industrial Research’ (up to five years for breeding projects); projects must have a value of £200-500k and £500k-£1m respectively.

Altogether, Defra is expecting to spend around £600 million on grants and other support for farmers to invest in productivity, animal health and welfare, innovation, research and development over the next three years.

Steve Double, parliamentary under Secretary of State, said: “Our farmers and food producers are the best in the world, and we want to encourage collaboration across the sector to help improve productivity and sustainability.”

“Food production and environmental protection are two sides of the same coin, it’s why we are spending £270m to support farmers to innovate for the future through the Farming Innovation Programme.”
He concluded: “Whether it’s a game-changing animal feed that helps animals produce less methane or new high-protein crop, this competition is now open to support its development.”



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