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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
4 June, 2014 - 22:00 By News Desk

Agri-Tech quartet share £250k

Lane-Farm-Foods

Four agricultural technology companies from Cambridge and the East of England will share £250k – the first grant allocations from the new Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, which has a total pot of £3.2 million.

The quartet awarded the maiden grants are KisanHub, Dofygate Ltd, Lane Farm Country Foods and Pangaea Agrochemicals.

KisanHub – based in Cambridge – has created a cloud-based, integrated software platform that allows farmers to make informed decisions about their day-to-day operations and markets.

The business will use the cash to develop and trial a crop yield prediction, irrigation and fertiliser recommendation model that uses satellite data and meteorological information to support on the ground decisions.

Dofygate, based in Calthorpe near Norwich, stands for Driver Operated Field & Yard Gate). The company will develop the marketplace and processes for its innovative automated farm gate system.

The farm gates are solar powered and entirely self-contained, allowing them to be easily relocated as required.

Lane Farm Country Foods, located near Woodbridge in Suffolk, will upgrade its existing production operation to bring it under one roof, increasing efficiency and enabling expansion.

The development would also provide greater flexibility of production allowing the team to develop and expand new lines more quickly in the future.

Pangaea Agrochemicals, with operations in both Cambridge and Norwich, concentrates on finding solutions to pests and weeds that have become resilient to existing pesticides.

The team will use the funding to develop a formulated product that can control resistant weed species using active ingredients that have had efficacy in the past. The funding will accelerate the development of this technology and allow the team to run further trials in the local area.

Mark Reeve, chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), explains: “Our funding has been designed to support a wide-range of businesses in the Agri-Tech sectors, from research and development of new products right through to food processing and packaging.

“The first round of successful grant applicants reflects the diversity of the funding we have available, and the significant positive impact it can have both on the businesses and the wider Agri-Tech community.

“I would encourage businesses in our local area to find out more about the grant funding we have available, and I look forward to making even more funding announcements in the near future.”

Jim Alston from Dofygate, said: “The funding provided by the Agri-Tech scheme will help enable Dofygate to develop market place acceptance for this unique, time saving product. We are aiming at the Livestock producer initially, but there are other areas where Dofygate will make the working day that much better, Agri-Tech will help us get there sooner.”

Michael Gifford from Pangaea Agrochemicals, said the company’s technology would prove vital in the battle against resistant Black-grass. “The support from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative will allow us to develop our solution to this national problem using the world-class facilities and expertise available in East Anglia.”

New jobs will be created through the funding according to Ian Whitehead from Lane Farm Country Foods. He said: “The money will kick start the next stage of our expansion plans creating new jobs as well as securing existing ones.

“We have always worked hard on the quality of our products and this grant will enable us to invest in new technology and infrastructure to help us maintain this together with the development of new lines.”

Giles Barker from KisanHub, said the grant “could not have come at a better time. It will propel our R & D satellite project so we can bring innovative solutions to farmers at a field level.

“This will help to establish KisanHub as one of the leading companies in agriculture software. Helping farmers globally ‘grow more, using less’.”

The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative provides grants of between £10,000 and £150,000 to businesses based in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk, Suffolk, Rutland, North Hertfordshire, or Uttlesford.

The money has been provided by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund following a successful application submitted by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) alongside New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and partners.

Businesses can find out more about the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative by visiting www.agritechgrants.co.uk or calling Project Manager Martin Lutman on 01480 277180 or emailing info [at] agritechgrants.co.uk

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