Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment Survey
Comparison of Farmers in Exceptional Circumstances Declared Areas and Farmers in the Farm Help Program
The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES) undertook a study to profile farmers receiving the Exceptional Circumstance Relief Payment in April 2008 (ECRP).
A major focus of this study was to profile farmers in receipt of the ECRP and to compare and contrast this group of farmers and farm families with those farmers who have accessed the Farm Help program.
The objectives of the study were to:
- understand “what works” for Farm Help participants and whether similar strategies and actions would be helpful for ECRP recipients
- determine what source of contacts, advice, training and assistance could best assist ECRP farmers experiencing drought conditions and more variable climate including drought management and preparedness
- assess the value of current assistance to ECRP farmers and explore what tools could be used to better service the needs of ECRP recipients; and
- assess current interventions and future options to assist planning for the future.
A majority of farmers surveyed acknowledged the impacts of climate change as distinct from the current drought and sought training to address the impacts.
The study found that improving risk management practices, developing skills and strategies to earn off-farm income and exploring options to improve the technical efficiency of their farm would be valuable to many ECRP farm families.
Analysis of Exceptional Circumstances Interest Rate Subsidy (ECIRS) Recipients
The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES) was commissioned in May 2008 to undertake a survey and data analysis of a sample of Exceptional Circumstances Interest Rate Subsidy (ECIRS) recipients to determine the use of government support and to establish a profile of this group.
The study also examined the potential impact of ECIRS in assisting farmers to improve business management and adapt to climate variability. The study indicates that accessing ECIRS has helped farmers to sustain operations and make on-farm improvements.
Almost all farmers taking part in the study were satisfied with ECIRS assistance. Most farmers sought ECIRS assistance to counter high levels of debt and to improve cash flow, cover short-term input costs, cover rising costs in general and to keep their business going.