The UK government is to give electric lettuce producers a £5m boost to keep the crop growing. 

The £5 million grant will come from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

The new grant comes on top of an £8m grant to produce the staple in 2017, as well as the £3m the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) gave in the first half of the year. 

In total, there are now almost 700,000 tonnes of electric lettuce being produced in the UK, with a further 1.5 million tonnes produced each year. 

 The £10m is being handed out by Defra to produce two varieties of electric kale, each weighing over 20kg. 

They can be grown indoors or outdoors and produce a full cup of kale at about a third of the cost of the regular variety. 

A new prototype is being produced and is due to be deployed in 2018. 

David Burdon, head of Defra’s green agriculture and environment programme, said: “It is great news that we are helping to ensure that the UK is leading the world in growing this delicious green vegetable.”

With a wide range of vegetables, including fresh produce, we have an abundance of green vegetables that we can grow in order to help meet our country’s growing demand for green foods.” 

In 2017, the Department said it was helping produce electric lettuce to meet the UK’s growing food needs. 

It said it had grown over 7,500 tonnes of the plant in the last year, bringing its production to 4.2 million tonnes.