AgriStarter Loan accelerates first gen and next gen farm business growth

As the only Federal Government funded, low-cost loan available to support the establishment of new farm businesses across Australia, 2 years since first offered, RIC AgriStarter Loan is helping to accelerate first generation and next generation farm businesses to start-up, set-up and grow.

RIC’s commitment to growing the Australian agricultural industry has delivered about $40 million in AgriStarter loans.

RIC Chief Executive Officer, John Howard said: “Our goal is to make it easier for farmers to access low-cost, fee-free loans to secure their farm business and become prosperous sooner,” said Mr Howard.

“The loan can be used to start and develop a first farming business, develop a share farm or farm leasing business, or to assist with succession planning for intergenerational transfer of farm business assets.”

Two-thirds of AgriStarter loans have helped to accelerate business activities to support first farmers while the remainder have supported succession planning.

Mr Howard said: “AgriStarter offers financial ‘breathing space’ for new farmers with minimum of 3 years on-farm experience to improve cash-flow, refinance debt or implement succession plans to fast-track their business growth and productivity.”

“As a key investment vehicle on behalf of the Australian Government, the RIC team provides a valuable role as a partner to Australian agriculture and enabler of growth in regional communities,” he said.

RIC customer and berry producer, Scott Carter, said his AgriStarter Loan opened a pathway into farm business ownership and he encouraged other new farmers to consider it as an option.

“The loan terms are ideal for start-up farm businesses like mine which may take some time and funds to invest in infrastructure, livestock or produce before we are able to gain a return,” Mr Carter said.

The loan has been specifically designed to support the growth and development of farming businesses in Australia and offers five years interest only with affordable interest rates and no application fees, enabling farmers to focus on building and growing their businesses.

Scott said that that many new farmers are going to be spending money for 18 months before they really start to bring money back in.

“The RIC loan is interest-only [repayments] for five years and then you start paying principal back for the next five years. That helps your cash flow immensely in that first five years when you’re setting up,” he said.
RIC variable interest rates are determined by the 10-year Australian Government bond rate and reviewed only twice a year — making them more stable than a commercial loan — so business owners can better manage their cash flow to prosper and grow. 

The AgriStarter Loan is available to all eligible farmers across Australia and can offer up to $2 million, with affordable interest rates and no setup and application fees. Read more about Scott Carter’s story here.


Media Contact: Chris Polain | E | M 0435 168 885

About the Regional Investment Corporation
Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is an Australian Government-backed specialist finance provider of concessional loans for farmers and farm-related small businesses in financial need. Our loans help to accelerate start-ups, or when faced with severe business disruption, they support to recover, prepare, and grow. Our vision is to build thriving regional communities. As at 31 March 2023, RIC has settled more than 2,886 loans valued at over $3.12 billion.