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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Webinar to inform farmers

REGIONAL Investment Corporation (RIC) is hosting a free Farm Investment Loan webinar 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.

The Farm Investment Loan is for preparation, management and recovery following a significant financial impact outside a farmer’s control.

RIC chief executive officer John Howard said It could be due to drought, natural disasters, pest or disease outbreaks, unexpected market closures or other significant restrictions.

The loan can also be used for investing in a farm business to encourage diversity and new market opportunities.

“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,” Mr Howard said.

“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.”

The webinar will be held on 25 October and 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,” Mr Howard said.

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 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 from 12pm to 1pm, to register visit this website. www.ric.gov.au/events.

For more on the Farm Investment Loan visit this website and to read more about Brodie and Kevin Game from Blackjack Holsteins’ story head here.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Innisfail celebrates 150th birthday with Riverfest and Delegates keen to return to Cannes in Cairns.

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