Farmers and advisors from around the Moree district found out more about the Regional Investment Corporation’s (RIC) farm business loans at an information session in Moree last week.
Since launching on July 1 this year, the RIC has been on the ground raising awareness of their loan products, delivering information sessions in target areas identified as most in need, which includes Moree.
The Moree session, held at Moree Town and Country Club on Friday, November 2, was attended by about 30 people including farmers, bankers, accountants and agribusiness consultants.
“It was a really positive session, with some detailed questions,” Regional Investment Corporation interim CEO Matt Ryan said.
RIC provides two types of farm loans – farm investment loans and drought loans.
Farm investment loans help eligible farmers build and maintain diversity in the markets they supply, and take advantage of new and emerging opportunities across Australia and overseas, while drought loans help farmers prepare for, manage through and recover from drought.
“The loans are for farmers in financial need,” Mr Ryan said.
“To demonstrate financial need, you need to show that your farm business has been affected by an event(s) outside your control, such as drought, floods or fire and this has caused significant financial impact to your business. This financial impact must be over a 24 month period (for example, your business has already been impacted for 12 months and you expect the impact will continue for another 12 months or longer).”
RIC loans can be used to refinance existing debt to free up cashflow or pay for operating expenses or capital.
Mr Ryan said the key difference between the RIC’s farm business loans, and other similar concessional loans offered by RAA was the loan terms and amount.
“We offer the biggest concessional loan amount of $2 million, and farmers can use our loans for any business related activity, which makes it an attractive option for farmers doing it tough because of the drought,” he said.
Loans are currently for up to $2 million for a 10-year term, with a five-year interest only period. The loan interest rate for farm investment loans and drought loans is 3.58 per cent. Interest rates are variable and will be reviewed every six months, effective February or August each year.
Mr Ryan said loans are administered in a nationally-consistent way, so no matter where you live, you’ll be treated the same.
“More farmers will be eligible than ever before and farmers will have more flexibility in how they use a RIC loan compared to the previous federal scheme,” he said.
“I urge farmers who are interested in our loan products not to self-assess. Call the Australian Call Centre 1800 875 675 where you’ll talk directly to a loan officer who knows agribusiness.”