Industries eligible for a RIC loan

A farm business must be involved within the agricultural, horticultural, pastoral, apicultural or aquacultural industries as provided for under RIC’s program guidelines and undertake all primary production aspects of the business wholly within Australia.

RIC loans must support primary production. 

The production of primary produce includes grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, milk, sugar cane, wine grapes, natural fibres and edible fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

You can find more information on the following industries below: Aquaculture and commercial fisheries | Grape growers | Horse industry | Nursery and floriculture | Other crop growing | Other livestock farming | Turf farming  

Aquaculture and commercial fisheries

Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated.

Aquacultural activities include the controlled breeding, raising or farming of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants used for human consumption.

Eligible

Aquacultural activities such as:

  • offshore farming of mussel, oyster, paua and seaweed
  • offshore farming using cages for finfish, salmon, trout and tuna
  • onshore farming using ponds or tanks for crustacean, fish breeding, fish farming, paua, prawn, salmon, trout, tuna and yabby.

Not eligible

‘Wild catch’ (harvest) activities such as: 

  • rock lobster and crab potting 
  • prawn fishing 
  • line fishing 
  • fish trawling, seining and netting, and 
  • other types of marine life gathering.

In addition, pearl oyster and ornamental fish farming activities may be classed as aquaculture, however they do not contribute to the production of primary produce, either directly or indirectly.

Grape growers

Grape growing is an eligible horticultural industry. Applicants must have the farm business as their principal business pursuit and be mainly engaged in growing table or wine grapes; or sun-drying grapes.

Applicants would not be eligible if they were mainly operating as a winery/distillery for other farms and doing minimal primary production themselves.

Eligible

  • grape growing 
  • grape sun-drying 
  • table grape growing 
  • wine grape growing 
  • vineyard operation – wine production from at least 50% of own grapes grown; excluding grapes bought in to supplement production.

Not eligible

Activities such as:

  • manufacturing or blending wine, fermented cider, wine vinegar or alcoholic beverages, and 
  • processing or crushing grapes in relation to preserving, bottling, canning etc.

Horse industry - Not eligible

Horse farming can be categorised as livestock production that is, the controlled breeding and maintaining of animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce.

Relevant horse-related activities primarily consist of horse breeding, agistment services and stud farm operations for the horse racing sector, competition and sporting associations, pony clubs and working horses.

Horse farming is not eligible for a RIC loan.

Nursery and floriculture

Nursery and floriculture production can be categorised as horticulture, consisting of growing and/or producing cut flowers, foliage and flower seeds, bulbs, corms or tubers and plant nursery products (such as ornamental plants, fruit trees or seedlings and vine stock).

Eligible

The production of:

  • unprocessed fruit
  • unprocessed vegetables, including mushrooms and other edible fungi
  • unprocessed nuts
  • unprocessed herbs
  • other unprocessed edible plants.

Wholesale / commercial nurseries dealing largely in plant propagation, selling young seedlings and rooted cuttings, for example fruit trees, vine stock or native plant species for shelterbelts, would be considered eligible.

Not eligible

Nursery products including:

  • trees, shrubs, plants, seeds, bulbs, corms and tubers (other than edible tubers)
  • cut flowers or foliage, and
  • propagating material and plant tissue cultures, grown for ornamental purposes or for producing cut flowers or foliage.

A retail nursery at which the principal cultivation is the maintenance of plants pending their sale to the general public would not be considered eligible. 

Other crop growing

This classification consists of entities mainly engaged in growing horticultural crops and plants, not classified elsewhere, including animal fodder crops such as hay, sudan grass and silage.

Eligible

  • Arrowroot 
  • Bamboo (production of edible shoots) 
  • Flax seed 
  • Fodder 
  • Ginger 
  • Hemp – (grown for either fibre or for seed) 
  • Hop 
  • Jute 
  • Lucerne 
  • Mustard 
  • Pasture for hay or silage 
  • Peanut 
  • Seed crops – including rapeseed, safflower, sunflower 
  • Spice crops 
  • Sudan grass
  • Tobacco

Not eligible

  • Lavender 
  • Pharmaceutical/cosmetic plant growing – including medicinal cannabis, tea tree (oil)

Other livestock farming

This classification consists of entities mainly engaged in the breeding or raising of farm or domestic animals not elsewhere categorised.

Eligible

  • Alpaca farming 
  • Crocodile farming 
  • Dairy goat farming 
  • Emu farming
  • Goat farming 
  • Ostrich farming 
  • Pig farming 
  • Rabbit farming

Not eligible

  • Bird breeding (except poultry and game birds for either meat or eggs) 
  • Cat breeding 
  • Dog breeding 
  • Pet breeding 
  • Snake farming 
  • Worm farming

Turf farming - Not eligible

Turf farming can be categorised as horticulture or ‘intensive plant’ agriculture, which is carried out for commercial purposes and predominantly used for urban landscapes and sporting facilities.

Turf farming does not contribute to the production of agricultural or primary produce, either directly or indirectly.

Turf farming is not eligible for a RIC loan.