AgriStarter loans worth up to $2 million now open for applications

Taken at its word, the AgriStarter loan scheme that provides financial support to the next generation of farmers is a godsend.

The loan has been devised to encourage new entrants to farming and indicates it can also can assist with succession arrangements.

Up to $2 million can be borrowed over 10 years with the first five years interest only, followed by five years’ principal and interest repayments. 

So what is the catch, is it the 1st of January or the 1st April (April fool’s day) that we have woke up on.

The Australian Government says it has provided an additional $75 million in 2020-21 for the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) AgriStarter Loan program.

The Governmant also says individual loans of up to $2 million could be used for range of purposes including purchasing a farm business and other farm business assets as well as putting it toward costs associated with the succession planning process.

Furtehr, the Australian Government says it understands the importance of encouraging a new generation of farmers to the sector and the AgriStarter Loan program will support this.

The loan also means that families will be able to discuss succession arrangements and plan for the future.

Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said the additional funding available this financial year would ensure support was available where it was needed most.

“The AgriStarter loan program has been an important initiative to help farmers and small businesses get through the hard times, while also supporting new farming enterprises to get off the ground,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This is about backing Australia’s next generation of farmers to grow and prosper which also has flow-on effects throughout regional economies and creates more regional jobs.”

The RIC’s current variable concessional interest rate is a record low at 1.92%. The initial loan term would be ten years, with interest-only repayments for the first five years and principal and interest repayments for the final five years.

Get some practice at hoop jumping, especially those on fire, and proceed with low expectations – but hope for a positive result. That’s the best advice AFDJ can offer.

For more information, including to view the AgriStarter Loans guidelines, go to: www.ric.gov.au

What can be expected according to the literature:

  • The AgriStarter loan applications are open to support the next generation of farmers.
  • The loan encourages new entrants to farming and can assist with succession arrangements.
  • Up to $2 million can be borrowed over 10 years with the first five years interest only, followed by five years’ principal and interest repayments. 
  • New entrants, farm businesses or successors can use the AgriStarter loan for relevant purposes including funding the purchase, establishment or development of a person’s first farm business, paying costs associated with the succession planning process, or buying out relatives during farm business succession. 
  • In addition to meeting the RIC’s eligibility requirements, AgriStarter loan applicants will need to hold or obtain a loan on commercial terms, demonstrate relevant experience, provide sufficient security for the loan and be in need of a concessional loan.
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