Emergency Disaster Loan Program for Farmers Suffering Damage
The Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture (Board) approved parameters for emergency low-interest agricultural loans for farmers suffering damage due to the heavy rain and flooding on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu in April and the current eruption phase at Kilauea volcano on Hawai‘i Island.
The Board approved the emergency loan program which offers disaster-related loans of up to $500,000 at an interest rate of three percent, with loan terms to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Agricultural Loan Division will process loan applications based on past farm production, projected cash flow and disaster recovery plans. Three-year residency and other requirements usually necessary for agricultural loans will also be waived. Loan applications will be accepted until June 2019.
In addition to the disaster loan program, HDOA also offers microloans of up to $25,000 that involves less paperwork and offers swifter processing. Loan officers will also work with those with existing agricultural loans on loan payment deferrals. The Agricultural Loan Division may be contacted at (808) 973-9460.
“It’s painful to see all the damage to our agricultural crops and businesses caused by the recent natural disasters,” said Gov. David Ige. “The Board’s approval ensures that funding is available to support agricultural recovery efforts.”
“The financial burden of the recent natural disasters hits the agriculture industry particularly hard,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “HDOA’s agricultural loan program will do its best to help our farmers and ranchers get back in business as soon as possible.”
On April 15, 2018, Gov. David Ige declared the County of Kaua‘i a disaster area due to heavy rains and flooding and authorized state funds for disaster relief. A supplementary disaster proclamation was issued by the Governor on April 18 to include the City and County of Honolulu due to heavy rains
On May 3, 2018, Gov. Ige issued a proclamation declaring the County of Hawai‘i as a disaster area due to the eruption at Kilauea and lava flows occurring in the East Rift Zone.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture issued a disaster declaration for the County of Kaua‘i which allows for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), including low-interest disaster loans. The FSA office on Kaua‘i may be contacted at: (808) 245-9014 Ext. 2.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also has a disaster loan program for nonfarm businesses which are dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses on Kaua‘i.
For loan assistance and more information on HDOA’s Agricultural Loan Program, go to: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/agl/