Loans, funding and support programmes
Financial and support opportunities
Queensland agricultural industries can access a range of financial assistance options to support their businesses, start new ones or during hardship. This may be through loans, once off grants or partnerships.
The information below is by no means exhaustive and there may be additional opportunities available through:
- local councils
- philanthropic funding bodies or
- government agencies.
These opportunities change over time and you should seek further advice from regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) bodies, local councils and industry organisations.
Online tools are also available to help you find more information, such as the Australian Government's Grants and Assistance tool.
The following list provides examples of loans, funding and support programmes available:
- Entrepreneurs’ Programme–Offering support to businesses through four elements: Accelerating Commercialisation, Business Management, Incubator Support and Innovation Connections.
- Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs–providing $150,000 to $1.5 million to help establish and/or operate SME export hubs in food and agribusiness.
- Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre–providing dollar-for-dollar support for agribusinesses to conduct short-term research finding solutions to their agri-food waste problems.
- The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) are seeking collaborations to develop new technologies, products and services which address industry issues in Northern Australia in the area of Agriculture and food, Health Services Delivery and Traditional Owner-led agribusiness or health business development.
- Investment into Northern Australia Infrastructure–the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will offer concessional loans to encourage and complement private sector investment in economic infrastructure. Loans will be available from 1 July 2016.
- Queensland Agricultural Workforce Network a new network of agriculture workforce officers across Queensland is working with farmers in all sectors to find labour solutions to help them grow their businesses and can provide information on upskilling existing workers.
- Rural Research and Development for Profit–the programme aims to improve farm-gate productivity and profitability. Eligibility includes partnering with one or more researchers, research agencies, Rural Development Corporations or businesses.
- Assistance, grants and tenders–grants and financial assistance programmes are available to Australian businesses and individuals under the Australian Government and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to help boost productivity and exports.
- Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority– a range of assistance programs, loans and grants are available to assist Queensland farm businesses. These include a number of options for drought support, sustainability loans and currently open Rural Economic Development Grants.
- The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is working with commercial lenders such as National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank, as well as a number of non-bank financiers to make low interest finance available to the agriculture sector for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
- Ignite Ideas Fund supports the development of new or improved products, processes or services to secure investment, launch into global markets and grow business.
- Commercialisation Partnership Program–this places Queensland innovators in Chinese incubators to collaborate with global expertise, access top facilities and accelerate commercial outcomes.
- Biofutures Industry Development Fund–to assist proponents of well-advanced large-scale industrial biotech projects with the final stage of financial due diligence to secure financing
- Growing Queensland’s Food Exports Program– to encourage regional sustainable economic development by supporting food producers to build export capability.
- Queensland Feral Pest Initiative–funding to support weed and pest animal management projects.
- Crop Insurance Research Grants–part of the Rural Assistance Package to support the development of risk management products such as multi-peril crop insurance in Queensland
Drought and disaster assistance
- Disaster-declared areas–areas declared in north and north west Queensland due to the rainfall and flooding in February and March 2018, and the financial assistance available.
- Drought assistance for primary producers–freight subsidies, water infrastructure rebate, loans and allowances, funding for pest animal and weed management and employment projects and more, including counselling services.
- Recovery after a disaster assistance–financial assistance and support including provision of fodder and aerial fodder drops in natural disasters under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
- Drought assistance contacts for all Australian state and territory governments, including information on policies and initiatives.
Partnerships and support within reef catchments
- The Reef Alliance (also on Facebook)–a partnership between agricultural industry, regional NRM bodies and the conservation sector with the common goal of securing the future health of the reef. The Reef Alliance Program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered through the Reef Trust.
- Support for banana growers–the Australian and Queensland Governments are helping banana growers optimise on-farm practices to improve the water quality in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.