​Media Release

​Greater certainty for Australian farmers in tough times

5 May 2016

Australian farmers will have greater flexibility to manage their finances during tough times with the passage of legislation which will strengthen the Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the legislation would introduce improved FMD arrangements for farm businesses from 1 July, delivering on a key Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper initiative.

“Farm Management Deposits help farmers salt away income generated in good years so they can draw upon it during tough times,” Minister Joyce said.

“From 1 July the deposit cap for FMDs will increase from $400,000 to $800,000, and financial institutions will be able to offer FMDs as farm business loan offset accounts. The Government has also re-established early access provisions in times of drought.

“Maintaining a farm business is a tough job and by strengthening the FMD scheme, the Coalition Government will help increase Australian farmers’ self-reliance and give them additional tools to manage tough times.”

Minister Joyce said the $4 billion Ag White Paper had already made tangible improvements to support for farmers in terms of drought and risk management.

“Through our Ag White Paper, we are investing $2.97 billion in support to help farmers and rural communities prepare for, manage through and recover from drought,” Minister Joyce said. 

“We have provided certainty for in-drought concessional loans for the next decade, investment for better seasonal forecasting, more favourable depreciation arrangements for water and fodder worth around $86 million, support for drought-affected communities in the form of shovel-ready projects and funding to manage pest animals and weeds.

“I am all about delivering results rather than rhetoric for Australian farmers and this initiative clearly shows the importance the government places on the contribution rural communities make to keeping Australia’s agriculture sector and economy strong.” 

For more information visit www.agriculture.gov.au/fmds​.