The UK environment secretary Ranil Jayawardena has announced that farmers that wish to conduct projects using high-tech approaches for horticulture such as controlled environment, robotic and autonomous horticulture will be able to access help in the form of a more enhanced funding package of £12.5 million pounds, on top of the £70 million that has already been committed to an existing research and development scheme with the UK Research and Innovation Council. Alongside the funding, an expert is to be employed (to be announced by Defra) to provide advice to those conducting projects associated with the scheme. The technologies mentioned are known to improve yields and allow for potentially seasonless periods of viable growth.
This extra funding comes as the UK government hopes to increase uptake to increase food security and sustainability of the industry and to ensure domestically grown vegetables are a mainstay for the economy. The scheme opens for applications in January 2023.
Read more on scheme here.