More farmers to be eligible for RIC loans

  • RIC farm business definitions to include more industries from 1 July 2022.
  • Horse breeders, turf farmers, tea tree and lavender growers are some of the industries that will be eligible to apply for a farm business loan.

Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) loans will be available to more farm businesses from 1 July 2022 when new industries are introduced to the loan eligibility.

The eligibility update follows industry and public consultation completed by the RIC in late 2021 that asked if the loan eligibility should be expanded to which most agreed.

RIC Acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Dowler said the agricultural industry’s success is supported by a diverse range of farm businesses and the RIC is pleased to be able to make more farm businesses eligible nationally from 1 July 2022.

“Australian agriculture is diverse and always evolving to meet new and emerging markets so it was an important time for the RIC several years into our operations to ask industry and the public if our loan eligibility should be expanded,” said Mr Dowler.

“Most of the 85 responses we received to the industry and public consultation agreed more farm businesses should be eligible, so we have listened to that feedback and pleased to make the changes from 1 July 2022.

“The RIC will have $266 million available next financial year for concessional loans to farm businesses, farm related small businesses and plantation growers to support regional Australia and the agriculture sector’s target to become a $100 billion industry by 2030.

“The expanded farm business eligibility also follows the recent AgriStarter Loan eligibility change to include existing share farmers and farm leasing business owners to use the loan to purchase a farm business, develop an existing farm business or purchase farmland.”

Farm businesses currently eligible for RIC loans include the primary production of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, milk, sugar cane, wine grapes, natural fibres and edible fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

The expanded farm business definitions are based on industries undertaking eligible primary production activities listed under Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC) 1292.0 (Revision 2.0) Codes 01 (Agriculture), 02 (Aquaculture) with some exclusions.

As a result, from 1 July 2022 the eligibility will be expanded to horse breeders, turf farmers, tea tree, lavender, pharmaceutical/cosmetic plant growing, nursery and floriculture growers (where they weren’t already eligible supplying for primary production such as shelter belts and winery root stock).

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Media Contact: Sarah Joseph | E | M 0435 168 885

About the Regional Investment Corporation

The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is a federal government-backed specialist
finance provider for farmers, farm-related small businesses and plantation businesses. For
the 2021-22 financial year, the RIC has approved around 160 total loans valued at over
$169 million as at 28 February 2022. Since its inception on 1 July 2018, the RIC has
approved more than 2840 total loans valued at over $3.08 billion as at 28 February 2022.