Horticultural growers can now access the new Farm Business Resilience Program (FBRP) being delivered by Growcom. The new assistance measures will help you to review all aspects of your business, develop plans and access grants and loans through Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) or private financier.
What is the Farm Business Resilience Program?
Jointly funded under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program, the Farm Business Resilience Program (FBRP) builds the strategic management capacity of Queensland horticultural growers to prepare for and manage business and climate risks. The program does this by supporting farm business planning to identify goals, business and climate risks, and strategies to manage these risks. The program supports growers to review their management practices and facilitates specific training and other activities to help assist growers address their risks and be more resilient. The new assistance focuses on greater preparedness and business planning to manage the ever-present risk of drought in Queensland. Growers can participate in this program irrelevant of their drought situation and do not require a drought declaration.
Who is eligible to participate?
All Queensland horticulture growers and primary producers across all agriculture sectors.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) defines a primary producer as the following when assessing eligibility for assistance:
- A sole trader who spends the majority of the sole trader’s labour on, and derives the majority of the sole trader’s income from, a primary production enterprise; or
- For a partnership, company or trust that carries on a primary production enterprise – the partners in the partnership, shareholders in the company or beneficiaries of the trust who spend the majority of their labour on, and derive the majority of their income from, the primary production enterprise.
What financial assistance is available?
The following financial assistance measures are now available through the QRIDA. Growers will need to have a completed Farm Business Resilience Plan when applying for assistance. For more information or to apply, visit: www.qrida.qld.gov.au/drought-support
- Farm Management Grant Program
A rebate of 50 per cent to a maximum of $2,500 for the professional cost of developing a Farm Business Resilience Plan.
- Drought Preparedness Grants
A rebate of up to 25 per cent to a maximum of $50,000 for on-farm capital improvements identified in your Farm Business Resilience Plan. For example, drilling of a bore.
- Drought Ready and Recovery Loans
A concessional interest loan of up to $250,000 to undertake preparedness measures identified in your Farm Business Resilience Plan. For example, installing water infrastructure, expanding dams, improving irrigation. This is a complimentary measure to the Drought Preparedness Grants.
- Emergency Drought Assistance Loans
An interest-free concessional loan of up to $50,000 for drought-declared primary producers to finance carry-on activities like paying wages or creditors during drought.
- Drought Carry-On Finance Loan Scheme
A concessional interest loan of up to $250,000 for drought carry-on finance. These loans will be available where the $50,000 Emergency Drought Assistance Loans Scheme is insufficient. Applicant must be drought declared.
Getting started: Preparing your Farm Business Resilience Plan
A Farm Business Resilience Plan helps you identify, assess, and manage business risks such as drought, by developing strategies and actions to address these risks. You will need a Farm Business Resilience Plan or similar, to apply for the drought assistance grants and loans available through the QRIDA.
A business plan should be evidence-based, incorporate relevant learnings from training, and be tailored to the purpose of the business operation. It should outline an implementation approach and be monitored and reviewed regularly to respond to and manage changes and their impacts.
You can complete your Farm Business Resilience Plan in your own time online, or with the assistance of one of Growcom’s Resilience Officers.
Growcom will be utilising our best management practice program for horticulture, Hort360 to develop business plans. A new Farm Business Management module has been developed within Hort360 to facilitate this process. This module upon completion not only provides you with a list of actions to bolster your resilience on farm but also the auto-populated plan required to access funding.
To enroll in the program and use Hort360 to develop your Farm Business Resilience Plan:
- Contact a Growcom Resilience Officer
- If not already, you will need to register with Hort360.
- Once logged into Hort360 you can complete the Farm Business Resilience module, obtain your risk assessment and action plan, and fill in the property details required to access further financial support.
- Once completed, you can apply for financial support through the QRIDA website or speak with your local QRIDA Officer for further assistance.