Nats candidate welcomes program to get young people ‘back to the farm’
Nationals candidate for Indi Liz Fisher has welcomed a $75 million Federal Government initiative aimed at bringing young Australians ‘back to the farm’.
Mrs Fisher said the Future Farmer Guarantee Scheme pilot would help address one of the key barriers for people entering agriculture — access to capital.
As part of the program, the government has guaranteed 40 per cent of an eligible new farmer’s commercial loan up to a maximum value of $1 million.
“We know our farmers are keen to help the next generation get their start and the government is using every lever we have to encourage young people on the land,” Mrs Fisher said.
“Lowering the barriers for future farmers is an investment in the future of our regions.
“As a farmer myself, I know how difficult accessing capital can be for farmers who want to purchase their own property.
“My family is the sixth generation in our broadacre cropping enterprise, so I am also very excited about the ability for this program to assist with business succession, which can be a very difficult and stressful process for farming families to go through.”
The scheme will see $1.45 million provided to the Regional Investment Corporation to administer the program, which opens January 1.
Mrs Fisher said funding for the $75 million guarantee would come from existing RIC appropriations.
“As we seek to grow Australian agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030, it is the Liberal and Nationals in government who are the only parties that can make this ambition a reality,” she said.
“It is an innovative solution to a complex problem, particularly with the program offering solutions for entrants who can also lease or share farm.
“Agriculture is more than a business, it is a lifestyle, and one that I am passionate about supporting people to enter into.
“The Future Farmer Guarantee Scheme pilot is another way I can do that and if elected, I will strongly advocate so that we can continue bringing people back on to the land.”