The Australian Farmer is an innovative digital book and knowledge tool, developed over the last two years and due to be released directly to farmers at no charge in late 2017.
The government has launched the 2017-18 Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme in New South Wales and Queensland, with $20 million and $50 million available respectively for eligible farm businesses.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said concessional loans will continue to be available to assist farmers across NSW and QLD to rebuild businesses following drought and farm gate milk price cuts.
“Our farm business concessional loans have proven to be a successful product for farm businesses, enabling them to refinance existing debt, fund normal operations and bankroll activities to increase productivity to build their businesses back up,” Minister Joyce said.
He added that so far more than $709 million in concessional loans have been approved to over 1,300 farm businesses nationwide since 2013, including more than $165 million to 300 farm businesses in New South Wales and over $248 million to 430 farm businesses in Queensland.
“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,” Minister Joyce said. “These Business Improvement Concessional Loans recognise that some farmers may need further assistance to achieve their farm business plans.”
The loans will have an initial variable concessional interest rate of 2.47 per cent for a maximum term of ten 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.
There are two loan types available in Queensland (drought assistance and business improvement) and three loan types available in NSW (drought assistance, dairy recovery and business improvement).
The scheme is expected to open in other states shortly. For more information on concessional loans, head to the website here.