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The Defra SFI (Sustainable Farming Incentive) scheme is a government program in England designed to reward farmers for adopting sustainable practices on their farms. Here’s an overview of how the scheme works:

The SFI is part of the UK government’s Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, which aims to provide financial support to farmers and land managers who implement environmentally friendly practices. The goal is to promote sustainability in agriculture and improve the overall environmental impact of farming.

The SFI is voluntary, so farmers can choose whether or not to participate. Check your eligibility here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sustainable-farming-incentive-guidance#eligible-land-for-an-sfi-agreement-

Participants in the SFI receive financial incentives for carrying out specific actions that enhance sustainability.

The types of actions eligible for incentives under the SFI include:

  • Soil management practices to improve soil health and reduce erosion.
  • Managing habitats to support wildlife and biodiversity.
  • Enhancing hedgerows, trees, and boundaries to improve biodiversity and landscape.
  • Improving water management to reduce pollution and conserve water resources.
  • Taking measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change, such as carbon-friendly practices.
Take a look at available actions here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sustainable-farming-incentive-guidance#details-of-the-sfi-actions-in-the-sfi-2023-offer-

Farmers are paid for each action they undertake based on a set payment rate. The payment rates vary depending on the complexity and impact of the action. Payments are made quarterly.

To participate in the SFI, farmers need to apply through a digital platform managed by Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs). The application process involves selecting which actions they will undertake and providing evidence of completion. The process is reasonably simple although agents can be instructed to apply on behalf of clients.

The SFI is one of the initial components of the broader ELM scheme. Over time, the ELM scheme aims to offer additional tiers and components beyond SFI, providing more opportunities for farmers to engage in sustainable land management and receive support. Find more information on ELMS here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/funding-for-farmers

Overall, the Defra SFI scheme is a key initiative to incentivize and reward farmers in England for adopting sustainable farming practices, thereby contributing to environmental conservation, biodiversity enhancement, and climate change mitigation within the agricultural sector.
It’s important to note that the details and availability of funding may change over time based on government policies and priorities. Therefore, for the most up-to-date information on similar initiatives, it’s recommended to consult DEFRA’s official website or relevant government sources. For more information click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sustainable-farming-incentive-guidance
At Massey Harpers, our expert team can provide guidance on products to help you achieve your selected SFI actions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We’re here to help!
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