New tool to connect farmers with financial and mental health support

John Howard, CEO Regional Investment Corporation. Image courtesy Regional Investment Corporation.

Australian Government farm business lender Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) has launched the Farm Relief Tool, a new directory to connect farmers affected by drought, natural disaster or biosecurity events with Australian Government financial and mental health support.

A collaboration between RIC, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Farm Relief Tool provides important resources for farmers seeking to prepare and recover when faced with challenging times.

John Howard, chief executive officer, RIC said the Farm Relief Tool was developed in response to agriculture industry calls for simple and easily accessible resources.

“Just like other useful tools farmers have in their shed, the Farm Relief Tool is a simple directory for farmers hit by drought, natural disasters and biosecurity events to quickly and easily find Australian Government options available to support them in tough times and help them to get back on their feet,” said Howard.

“We’ve heard from the agriculture industry when farmers know where to find help, they feel more confident, and they have a better outlook on their ability to recover. We know from our own recent customer survey that nine out of ten RIC customers agree their RIC loan has made drought, natural disasters, or external disruption recovery easier.”

The online Farm Relief Tool is available online now at and in person from next month through the Rural Financial Counselling Service, or from RIC, NEMA and DAFF information stands at community agriculture events.

RIC loans are available to eligible Australian farmers to recover from drought and natural disasters, biosecurity events and prepare for future events through its Drought Loan and Farm Investment Loan. Up to $2 million can be borrowed over 10 years with the first five years’ interest only followed by principal and interest for the remaining five years. The current variable interest rate is 4.52 per cent and reviewed every six months. For more on RIC loans visit

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