04/02/2009 - 22:00

Canola added to crop pool

04/02/2009 - 22:00

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THE Federal Court decision in favour of non-forestry MIS in an Australian Tax Office test case last December has substantially shortened the usual time allowed for project managers to put their annual programs together.

Canola added to crop pool

THE Federal Court decision in favour of non-forestry MIS in an Australian Tax Office test case last December has substantially shortened the usual time allowed for project managers to put their annual programs together.

And while the lateness of the decision won't leave a lot of time for some managers, others, such as Australian Agricultural Contracts, are forging ahead with their 2009 project offering.

AACL is aiming to raise $35 million for the 2009 season, down on the $40 million raised in 2008, taking the total funds invested over the past three projects to $90 million.

Similar to previous years, the 2009 project will be a three-year investment and will operate across grain growing regions in Western Australia, NSW, Victoria and South Australia to grow wheat, barley and, for the first time, canola.

The company expects to contract about 250 farmers to grow 550,000 tonnes of grain in 2009.

AACL capital raising division head and company director Rob Melville said he expected strong interest in the 2009 project due to the success of previous projects and fewer opportunities for people to invest in MIS projects.

"It is a tough market to raise debt or equity, but there is a fair bit of interest in the projects," he said. We've already received a lot of enquiry from financial planners and existing investors,''

Mr Melville said the company would look at using a combination of the MIS model and wholesaling to institutions and high net worth investors in future years.

He said there was also interest from overseas investors in gaining exposure to the Australian wheat market through AACL.

"The outlook for farming and food remains strong, because the world needs to eat," he said.

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