As Secretary of State for Food and Farming, I go to agricultural shows right across the UK, but today I am on home turf.

I will see many familiar faces at Trinity Park enjoying the Suffolk Show, heading first past the Suffolk Punch, Suffolk Sheep and the Red Poll that greet us at the entrance.

The event is a chance to celebrate the county’s rich agricultural history and enjoy the fantastic array of livestock and local produce this region has to offer, but also an opportunity to look ahead at how we can drive forward an innovative, resilient and thriving future for the sector.

Farming has been at the heart of rural life in Suffolk for hundreds of years.

From being prominent in the Domesday Book, through the centuries, Suffolk has led the way on successful agriculture and keeping our nation fed.

While Suffolk is a county steeped in history, I have always been impressed with its openness to innovation, particularly on water and being a step ahead on how to adapt to climate change.

That is why I will support farmers and growers to harness new ideas and technologies that will help them produce food sustainably while protecting important habitats and species for generations to come.

Today I am announcing that over 50 ambitious projects are receiving a share of up to £30 million in the latest rounds of our Farming Innovation Programme. 

With projects including ground breaking genetics research through to investigating the use of drones and artificial intelligence to inspect and monitor animals, this investment will help to drive forward a more productive, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector that enables food production and environmental protection to go hand in hand. 

One of the successful projects is running right here in Suffolk by Driver Farms who are exploring an innovative, environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution to controlling weeds which - if left unchecked - can be one of the biggest drains on farming productivity.

Farmers, growers and businesses from right across the UK can now head online to apply for funding in the latest competition round which will focus on practical solutions that make a real impact on farms, like those here in Suffolk.

These are just one part of the £168 million investment we have made available this year to support farmers through 16 different grants and competitions around research and innovation. 

It builds on the wider support we are putting in place for our farmers through our Environmental Land Management Schemes which, now we are free from the bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy, sees payments made fairly to all farmers in return for their actions.

I will continue working as hard as possible to provide for our rural communities, including those here in Suffolk, and fight to make sure they remain at the heart of this government’s agenda.