RIC loans are now available to more farm businesses in financial need

Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) loans are now available to more eligible farm businesses.

Eligibility has been expanded to align with ANZSIC codes and now includes horse breeders, turf farmers, tea tree, lavender, pharmaceutical/cosmetic plant growers, nursery and floriculture growers.

Applicants still need to meet all mandatory eligibility criteria to apply for a RIC loan, including demonstrating they are in financial need. Unlike a grant, farm businesses also need to provide security and demonstrate their ability to repay the loan.

The change follows consultation in 2021 with Australia’s agricultural industry, who largely supported expanding the definition to support more farm businesses.

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.

What has changed?

All sectors previously eligible for a RIC loan will continue to be eligible. 

Several additions have been made, including horse breeding and turf farming.

Nurseries and floriculture growers were previously eligible if they supplied primary production, such as shelter belts and winery root stock. Eligibility has been extended to include pharmaceutical and cosmetic plant production, including lavender and tea tree.

What is still excluded?

Wild catch fishing and foraging activities are not eligible for a RIC loan.

A number of animal breeding enterprises continue to be ineligible, including snake farming and worm farming.

Bird breeding is not included, other than poultry and game birds. Pet breeding is also ineligible – this includes dogs, cats, ornamental fish and rabbits.

For more information on included industries, click here.

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