Australian Government farm business lender, Regional Investment Corporation (RIC), is hosting a free Farm Investment Loan webinar on 25 October 2023 for farmers, advisers and agriculture industry groups to learn more about how low-cost farm business loans can be used to support rebuilding and recovery after a severe financial impact.
RIC Chief Executive Officer, John Howard said the Farm Investment Loan is for farmers who have had their business plans severely disrupted by factors outside their control causing a financial downturn.
“The Farm Investment Loan recognises that often unexpected business shocks outside a farmer’s control can play havoc with financial plans over time, like being forced to sell stock or buying feed and water. RIC loans can provide some financial relief with a low variable interest rate currently at 4.52 per cent and interest-only terms for the first five years of their loan to get back on their feet.
“To be eligible for a low-cost RIC loan, farmers need to show their underlying business is solid, but need help to improve cash flow following an event like drought or a natural disaster,” said Mr Howard.
“The webinar comes at a time when many farmers will be considering how they will manage through the predicted dry season. Some farmers may not realise the Farm Investment Loan can be used for drought management, recovery and to prepare their business for future events so we’d encourage anyone who wants to learn more to register online via our RIC.gov.au website.”
Webinar participants will hear how RIC customers, Bega Valley dairy farmers Brodie and Kevin Game, used their Farm Investment Loan to upgrade irrigation for on-farm feed production improvements after experiencing consecutive impacts from drought, bushfires and floods.
“The interest-only period for the first five years of the 10-year loan term was very enticing because it gave us more time to install the pivot and pay the money back once it made money for us,” said Ms Game.
“Every disaster has changed our management of our business because it’s not an ‘if’ these things will happen again, it’s a ‘when’ and there are different levers we can pull to get through it.”
The Farm Investment Loan is for preparation, management and recovery following a significant financial impact outside a farmer’s control. It could be due to drought, natural disasters, pest or disease outbreaks, unexpected market closures or other significant restrictions. It is also for investing in a farm business to encourage diversity and new market opportunities.
The Farm Investment Loan provides up to $2 million over a 10-year term with the first five years’ interest only followed by principal and interest for the remaining five years. The current variable interest rate is 4.52 per cent and there are no fees to apply, make extra repayments, or for early loan repayments.
The free webinar is on 25 October 2023 from 12pm to 1pm, to register visit www.ric.gov.au/events. For more on the Farm Investment Loan visit www.ric.gov.au/farm-investment. Read more about Brodie and Kevin Game from Blackjack Holsteins’ story www.ric.gov.au/customer-stories.
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About the Regional Investment Corporation
Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is an Australian Government farm business lender providing low-cost loans for farmers and farm-related small businesses in financial need to strengthen Australian agriculture. RIC loans can be used for management, recovery and future proofing following severe business disruption due to drought, natural disasters and other biosecurity issues. RIC loans can also help farm businesses to get established for first generation farmers and succession planning for next generation farmers. Our vision is to build thriving regional communities. RIC has settled 2951 loans valued at over $3.18 billion since 1 July 2018 as at 31 August 2023.