Hawaii News

Agriculture department to establish emergency loan program for farmers, ranchers impacted by wildfires

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The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture will be establishing an emergency agricultural loan program to assist Maui and Hawai‘i Island farmers and ranchers suffering damage from the high winds and wildfires this week.

The Emergency Proclamation by Acting Gov. Sylvia Luke on Aug. 8 allows the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture to activate an emergency loan program.

The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture will be submitting proposed loan parameters for approval at the Board’s meeting later this month, which would determine the maximum loan
amount and interest rate.

In the meantime, agricultural operations impacted by the wildfires may contact the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Loan Program on O‘ahu at 808-973-9458 for more information and to begin the process of applying for low-interest agricultural emergency loans.

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Loan applicants would need to provide estimates of losses and should document the damage with photos.

“While damage estimates may take some time to fully assess, we urge agricultural operations
impacted by the wildfires to contact us now if they believe they may need financial assistance,”
said Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the Board. “We are also in touch with the U.S. Farm Service
Agency which is assisting in damage assessments to secure additional federal assistance for
this disaster.”

For agribusinesses needing loans of $50,000 or less, micro-loans involving less paperwork and
swifter processing are also available.

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The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture is currently administering an emergency loan program for farmers and ranchers impacted by the overpopulation of axis deer.

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