Funding to get advice for struggling farmers
Farm Business Advice Support Fund
This is an initiative funded by banks and the government offering support for farmers and growers struggling with business debt.
The government originally allocated $200,000 for the Farm Business Advice Support Fund which is managed by Rural Support Trusts and this has been increased by a further $149,000 for farmers around the country with an additional pool of $200,000 to specifically assist those in the North Island regions impacted by the flooding events in 2023.
For a qualifying farmer or grower, the Fund will provide up to $6,000 to pay for financial or business advice from an independent consultant.
The National Council of Rural Support Trusts and New Zealand Bankers’ Association signed the agreement for the Fund back in 2020. Under the agreement, the Rural Support Trusts will provide up to $3,000, depending on an assessment of need, and the relevant bank will match that dollar for dollar.
RST National Council chair Neil Bateup says the fund is for a farmer or grower who is feeling pressure. “The hope is that there may still be options available so that the wishes of all parties can form a solution for going forward and the banks came on board recognising it’s in everyone’s best interests to have an opportunity to work through solutions.”
Rural Support Trusts take an application from, or on behalf of, a farmer or grower who might qualify for assistance. Both the bank and farmer or grower will agree on the expert instructed to provide assistance and the terms of reference for the work.
The consultant will provide a report, which will be given to the farmer or grower and their bank.
This initiative involves ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Heartland Bank, Rabobank, SBS Bank, TSB and Westpac.
If you would like to know more or wish to apply please contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.