The Minns Labor Government is investing in the readiness and resilience of the state’s agriculture industry, with the creation of a $250 million Drought Ready and Resilient Fund (DRRF).
This Fund will allow eligible primary producers to apply for low interest loans of up to $250,000 to fund a broad range of operational products, activities and services to prepare and respond to the impacts of drought.
According to research by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, these loans, which can be paid off over five or ten years, are estimated to save farmers on average $40,000 over a five year loan, when compared to other similar loans.
Importantly, for the first time the DRRF will allow farmers to access loans for other core activities like the purchasing of fodder and transport of livestock to protect their welfare, not just capital investments.
It ensures the NSW Government is working with the sector to provide an innovative and proactive response as parts of the state enter into drought conditions.
For those in regions not yet experiencing drier conditions, the DRRF also incentivises participation in the vital planning and preparedness phase of drought management and climate variability mitigation, improving response and recovery outcomes for farming businesses.
Unlike previous funds which are designed to support capital investment, DRRF can be used for essential items such as:
- Purchasing fodder
- Feeding equipment
- Stock transportation costs
- Veterinary and professional nutrition and welfare advice
- Fencing for rotational grazing
- Exclusion and cluster fencing
- Construction of containment feeding pens
- Stock shade structures
- Planting of trees
- Stock and domestic water [Including its transportation]
The Minns Labor Government is committed to supporting rural and region Australia in times of drought.
It’s why this fund comes in conjunction with the – refocusing of the $120 million Farm Innovation Fund, to the Drought Infrastructure Fund, offering loans of up to $1 million, at a low interest rate of 2.5 per cent.
The Drought Infrastructure Fund is designed to promote capital investment in on-farm infrastructure that assists farmers in transitioning their farms to become more resilient, productive and sustainable.
By establishing these two types of funds the Government is opening up options and flexibility for farmers, depending on their needs and circumstances, and ensuring the viability of agricultural operations – livestock, cropping or horticulture – across NSW.
Applications are welcome now for the Drought Infrastructure Fund, and for the Drought Ready and Resilient Fund applications are open from 1 December 2023. Information at www.raa.nsw.gov.au.
Premier, Chris Minns said:
“We know that NSW does not thrive unless our regions and agricultural industries thrive.”
“This is a significant investment which demonstrates our commitment to the resilience of farmers across our state, particularly as they enter drier and warmer weather conditions.
“We know disaster prepared is more important then ever before. This is a commonsense initiative that allows farmers to get ahead of the dry season and protect their livelihoods.”
Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty said:
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting our agriculture sector and this is an important investment in the resilience of this vital industry throughout the emerging dry conditions.
“The aim of this Government initiative is to give farmers access to operational funding so they can get assistance to work through a challenging period.
“This is a common sense approach to ensuring farmers and livestock producers across NSW have the resources they need in the event of drought.
“We will continue to monitor the drought indicator closely and ensure that farmers receive the support they need.
NSW DroughtHub, www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au, the one-stop online destination for information on a vast range of services and support available to primary producers, their families and communities.
Premier of New South Wales
Minister for Agriculture
Minister for Regional New South Wales
Minister for Western New South Wales