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Queensland—Aid for Farmers Hit by Whitespot


Shrimp farmers who lost crops to whitespot can apply for up to A$3 million in low-interest financing to aid their recoveries.


Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the low-interest loans were designed to help the shrimp farmers improve biosecurity, experiment with other species, and improve the productivity and viability of their enterprises.  “The loans have been specifically designed to assist shrimp farmers hit by the whitespot outbreak,” the Minister said.  “They have been created to help affected farmers get back on their feet by providing the means for them to implement systems and practices that will help their aquaculture enterprises to recover.”


“It has been my priority from the start to help those business owners who wish to remain in the industry to invest in the biosecurity infrastructure, new technology and practices to improve long-term sustainability and a return to disease-free production,” Byrne said.


The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) will administer the low-interest loans.  QRIDA’s manager of customer relations Craig Turner said shrimp farmers who had been directly impacted by the disease should contact the authority on Freecall 1-800-623-946 to receive full details of the assistance available.


“QRIDA representatives will attend the upcoming Australian Prawn Farmers Association Symposium at the Gold Coast on the 1st and 2nd of August to discuss finance options available for Queensland shrimp farmers,” he said.


“Staff will be on hand to speak directly with shrimp farmers about the White Spot Disease Concessional Loans, as well as our low-interest Sustainability and First Start Loans which can also assist those in the aquaculture industry,” Turner said.


White Spot Disease Concessional Loans are available for up to A$3 million, with loan terms of up to 20 years, no fees or charges and low-interest rates fixed for one year, three years or five years.


Information: Craig Turner, Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA, Freecall 1-800-623-946).


Source: MySunShingCoast.Com.  Up to $3 Million Available for Shrimp Farmers Affected with Whietspot.  July 21, 2017.