Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the scheme was aimed at boosting the productivity of broadacre, pastoral, horticulture, dairy, intensive agriculture and aquaculture businesses.
“WA farm businesses will be able to apply for loans between A$50,000 and A$200,000 at the concessional commencement rate of 4.5 per cent,” Mr Baston said.
“This means at least 250 farm businesses will be able to use these loans to improve the productivity of their operations.
“These loans are not for restructuring existing debts or for carry-on finance for day-to-day operations, rather they are for investments that will enhance business productivity.
“This may include the purchase of breeding livestock; fencing; soil treatment work such as the application of lime; or, the purchase of modern technology such as GPS mapping systems.”
The A$50 million scheme is funded by the Australian Government and will be administered by the Rural Business Development Corporation on behalf of the Western Australian Government.
The Minister said many farm businesses had faced tough times recently due to dry seasons and difficulties with market access, terms of trade and the high Australian dollar.
“When farm businesses experience a combination of these challenges, they often draw down their non-farm assets to ensure the ongoing success of their operations,” Mr Baston said.
A net non-farm asset threshold of A$421,500 will apply and applicants must have less than A$400,000 in liquid assets such as shares, Farm Management Deposits and cash at bank.