AUSTRALIA - AgForce has welcomed the announcement of additional funding for concessional loans for Queensland primary producers to expand their existing businesses and invest in new opportunities for growth.
AgForce CEO Charles Burke said the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority’s concessional loans had proven extremely popular and the additional A$50 million facility being provided by the State Government was strongly supported.
“We are pleased the Queensland Government has recognized how important these loans are in assisting primary producers to become more sustainable, to drive growth in their business and value-add in the community,” he said.
“The First Start Loans increase the opportunity for new entrants to purchase property or expand or upgrade existing holdings to ensure the future profitability of their business.
“Sustainability Loans support capital works like exclusion fencing to lift farm productivity and environmental sustainability, as well as water storage improvements which can improve resilience to future droughts.
“We recognise that earmarking a proportion of the A$50 million for hard-hit prawn farmers is important at this time, and the Government will need to be prepared to allocate additional funding in the Budget for other industries as the remainder of the increase is taken up.
“AgForce called for improved access to the concessional loans programme and to make the loan settings more commercially relevant, and this improved flexibility and increases in available finance have resulted in more demand from broadacre industries.
“It is important to remember these are loans from Government, not grants or gifts, and have to be repaid in a relatively short period of time.
“There is no doubt this is an example of what can be achieved when the right, positive, proactive policy settings are put in place to give primary producers the tools they need to grow and thrive.”
TheCattleSite News Desk