Farm Innovation Fund

The Farm Innovation Fund is part of the NSW Government's Drought Strategy and is a long term, low interest rate loan for NSW farmers for permanent on-farm infrastructure. The Farm Innovation Fund helps farmers to:

  • improve farm productivity - reduce risks and improve efficiencies by building fodder and grain storage facilities, sheds, fencing, roadworks and solar power conversions.
  • manage adverse seasonal conditions - improve water efficiencies with irrigation systems, cap and piping of bores, new dams, install water tanks and desilting of ground tanks.
  • ensure long term sustainability - increase the viability of a farm business and improve pasture and soil health, plant trees for shade and wildlife corridors, eradicate weeds, flood proof property and fence river banks.

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The application process

Find out  what you can apply for
What you will need
Apply online or manually
Claim invoice payment
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The Farm Innovation Fund is available to farmers in NSW to meet the cost of carrying out permanent capital works that will have a significant beneficial impact on the land, long term profitability of the business and address adverse seasonal conditions. Download the Guidelines (PDF, 249.37 KB) for full details of eligibility (sections 9-10) and what you can apply for. (sections 2 & 11)

For your application you will need a copy of the following documents:

  • Signed Mortgage Lenders Consent Form from your existing mortgagee.
  • Last 3 years balance sheets and Financial Statements of your farm enterprise. (These include Profit and Loss Statements, Stock Trading account and Depreciation schedules)
  • Last 3 years individual Taxation Returns and a current listing of all Assets & Liabilities held by each: Individual members of a Partnership/ Family Trust and Individual Director(s)/Shareholder(s) of all Companies
  • Copy of Farm Business and Risk Assessment Plan (download Farm Business Plan Template DOCX, 47.03 KB)
  • Monthly Cash Flow Budget for the next 12 months
  • Copy of current LGA (council) rates and LLS rates notice(s) for property(s) where the work is to be completed

The online application form has been designed to make the process as simple as possible. We recommend that you have all scanned documents ready to upload before starting the process. We recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser.

If you prefer to download a paper copy of the application form, download the form here.

Download and complete the Authority to Pay form and submit this form with your invoices.

If you have more questions please refer to the Farm Innovation Fund Fact Sheet (PDF, 288.59 KB) or contact the RAA on 1800 678 593 or email rural.assist@raa.nsw.gov.au

View the Farm Innovation Fund Factsheet

Q1. Is there a cut off time to submit my application?
No – however, loans will not be offered beyond the allocated funding.

Q2. What is the interest rate and can my interest rate change?
The interest rate will be 50% of the NSW Treasury Bond Rate as at 1 July of the financial year that the application is approved (currently 2.5%). The interest rate is fixed from the date of approval and will remain the same for the life of the loan.

Q3. Am I able to complete the work prior to applying?
No – applications must be lodged prior to commencement of the work.

Q4. Can I send in an application whilst waiting on information from my bank?
Yes – although your loan will not be assessed until your application is complete.

Q5. Can primary producers that have been in operation less than three years, and therefore cannot provide the required three years of financial information, still apply?
Yes you can apply if you are classified as a “new entrant”, meaning that you have been operating your farm business for between 12 months to three years and more than 50% of your gross income will be derived from the farm business within three years of the date of the application. The applications of new entrants will be considered on a case by case basis.

Q6. Does a mortgage get taken over my property?
No – a Statutory Charge and registered caveat will be placed over the property where the works are to be carried out. Additional or alternate property may be considered. Your bank will need to sign and stamp the Lenders consent form to support your application.

As part of the assessment process, the authority will obtain title searches to confirm ownership of the land offered as security. The cost of the searches is charged to the applicant whether or not they take up the loan.

Q7. Are lease-holders eligible for Farm Innovation Fund loans?
Farm Innovation Fund loans are ordinarily available for primary producers who own and operate the business, and own or are in the process of purchasing, the land upon which the farming occurs and upon which improvements are proposed. However, a Farm Innovation Fund loan will be considered for lease-holders where they:

  • have been leasing on that land for more than 3 years,
  • have written approval from the land-owner for the proposed works,
  • can provide adequate security and demonstrate ability to repay the loan.

Q8. How do I access the funds once approved?
You will need to sign and submit an ‘Authority to Pay’ form along with your Tax Invoices to the RAA. Payment will be processed to your nominated bank account. The Authority will NOT pay to the supplier directly.

Visit Drought Hub for more information on the full range of drought assistance available to NSW farmers.

Total funding = $1,000,000,000

Funds allocated as at: 3 November 2019

$469,936,863

Remaining funding

$530,063,137

* Total Funding figures includes Drought Assistance Funds