The Government launched the 2017–18 Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme in New South Wales, with an initial commitment of $20 million to support eligible farm businesses.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said this was part of the Government’s $250 million commitment to delivering concessional loans for eligible farm businesses nationally from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
“Concessional loans will continue to be available to assist farmers across New South Wales to rebuild their businesses following drought and farm gate milk price cuts,” Minister Joyce said.
“So far more than $709 million in concessional loans have been approved to over 1,300 farm businesses nation-wide since 2013, including more than $165 million to almost 300 farm businesses in New South Wales.
“For 2017–18, the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme will also be extended to eligible Farm Household Allowance recipients who have exhausted their 1,095-day entitlement.
“These Business Improvement Concessional Loans recognise that some farmers may need further assistance to achieve their farm business plans.
“The loans have an initial variable concessional interest rate of 2.47 per cent for a maximum term of 10 years. Interest-only repayments are available for the first five years of the loan term, with principal and interest repayments for the next five years.
“The Government continues to deliver farm-strengthening initiatives from the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, which had a $2.5 billion commitment to concessional loans over ten years.”
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, welcomed the additional $20 million in funding to assist NSW farmers.
“The additional funding supports our important dairy industry and helps farmers better prepare for the range of issues that come with drought,” Mr Blair said
“This funding also builds on the NSW Government’s $300 million NSW Drought Strategy, which gives the right support at the right time for our farmers.
“We know our farmers face some harsh conditions each year and while we can’t make it rain, we do hope these loans provide some support during those difficult times.”
“Our farmers contribute about $62.8 billion to our nation’s economy and stronger farm businesses mean a stronger economy. Supporting viable farm businesses to better manage through drought and hardship is firmly in our national interest,” Minister Joyce said.
The scheme is expected to be open in other jurisdictions shortly.
Source: Australian Government