Key Reminders for Successful Applicants
In February, the RPA sent Grant Funding Agreement (GFA) Acceptance emails to those who were successful with their applications.
Here are our key reminders for members currently completing the claim element of this program to ensure success.
Complete a successful claim
1. Order the items as soon as possible
If you haven’t already, please start order all eligible items that you have successfully applied as soon as possible. There will be high demand, especially for certain items.
It is also important to talk to suppliers if you haven’t already. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Understand the lead times and production cycles that are involved with the items you purchase.
Stay in touch with suppliers to ensure items are always on time for their delivery dates. This is important if the elements have a long build time or require importing.
To help you remember these deadlines, it’s a good idea to write down not only the deadline, but also put regular reminders in your diary or calendar.
2. Report any supply issues to RPA
The RPA states in its guidelines that if you are having difficulty obtaining one or more items, you should contact them as soon as possible via email. [email protected]
You will need to tell RPA the make and model of the item and the vendor(s) from whom you tried to obtain the item.
The RPA may accept changes to your GFA based on a number of categories of exceptional circumstances set out in the program handbook.
3. Read the manual
Be sure to read the program manual and make sure you understand the minimum specifications for your items, as well as the purchasing rules. For example, there is rules regarding payment by credit card, or purchasing groups, or by invoice.
Also keep in mind that some funding methods are not eligible.
It is equally important to have the paper trail ready to submit to RPA in as user-friendly a version as possible.
This will help everyone concerned with purchase eligible items separately from non-eligible items because the RPA will have a clearer audit trail to work from.
The Program Manual contains helpful information on purchasing and paying for eligible items, so review them early on.
The RPA can accompany you via its email address [email protected] (quote your company name, SBI number and FETF reference number in your email).
You can also call the RPA on 03000 200 301 and select the option for the Agricultural Equipment and Technology Fund.
4. Complaint and proof
After accepting the GFA through the acceptance portal, by the claim deadline, you must have:
- bought all requested items on your GFA
- paid for all items
- had them delivered
- had elements installed and made operational (if necessary).
All items must have been purchased after the date the RPA approval email was sent to you.
You must submit a single complete application form containing all necessary evidence as:
- duly itemized invoices
- copies of payment receipts
- photographs of various aspects of the articles.
You must submit your claim form from the email address registered in the Rural Payments service to the RPA email address: [email protected]
For full details, please see the complaints section of the government FETF guidelines.
5. Deadline and payments
These aforementioned steps are essential as the claims deadline of October 31, 2022 at midnight will soon approach with a busy agricultural period ahead. So from the claim deadline is the key and keep it to the point.
Remember that this deadline is a long deadline. You can claim before if you are willing to do so. RPA has already received and started paying eligible claims since March.
In fact, if all claims are submitted to RPA during the last week of the claims window, processing payments and paying people will take longer.
This is important when the grant is paid in a single installment in arrears. This situation can have an impact on cash flow.
The RPA aims to resolve your claim as soon as possible, either within 30 business days of receipt of your proof of claim, or within the published timelines agreed for the claim submission window.
What is the Agricultural Equipment and Technology Fund?
The Agricultural Equipment and Technology Fund is essentially similar to the Small Country Productivity Grants Program (CPSG). It is designed to enable farmers, contractors and foresters in England to apply for investment funding for a pre-determined list of standard cost items.
The decision to allow entrepreneurs to apply for funding (including those working in the livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors) reflects the many different methods employed in modern agricultural businesses. Defra hopes this will allow equipment purchased through the fund to benefit more farmers.
- The total budget for the first round of the Agricultural Equipment and Technology Fund is £17 million.
- The maximum grant anyone can receive during the lifetime of the Farm Equipment and Technology Fund is £50,000.
What type of equipment is covered?
- There are 120 pieces of equipment on the list.
- There are 38 items that were not available under the Small Grants for Rural Productivity Program.
- Three items that were previously available through the Campaign Productivity Small Grants program are no longer eligible for funding through this program.
- Second-hand items are not permitted.
Below is an overview of the items covered. This is not an exhaustive list.
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