For Immediate Release: March 22, 2006 NR06-05
UPDATE: A supplemental proclamation by Governor Lingle extended disaster loan assistance to farmers on all islands.
FARMER LOAN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE AT KAUAI DISASTER CENTER
HONOLULU – Kauai farmers suffering damage from recent heavy rains may be eligible for low-interest loans from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Agricultural Loan Division.
Agricultural loan officers will be available at the state’s Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center (DARC) that will be set up this week:
Friday, March 24 – Kilauea Neighborhood Center
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 25 – Kalaheo Neighborhood Center
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
“We realize that Kauai farmers may not yet be able to fully assess damages to crops due to the continuing rain,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “However, we encourage farmers who anticipate the need for emergency loan assistance to meet with our loan officers and start the application process.”
There are several types of loans that farmers may be eligible for, including emergency loans of up to $250,000, which were activated by the disaster declaration by Governor Linda Lingle. The interest rate for emergency loans will be set by the Hawaii Board of Agriculture next week, but are expected to be about three percent. Under the emergency loan program, farmers needing loans of $25,000 or less may apply for micro-loans which involve less paperwork and swifter processing.
To help expedite the application process, farmers should bring with them copies of their last three tax returns and, if possible, any photos or documentation of damage sustained.
“Our division is already processing eight emergency loan applications from Oahu farmers from flooding in early March and an equal amount have taken out applications,” said Dean Matsukawa, Administrator of the Agricultural Loan Division. “With the widespread flooding on Kauai, we expect many more farmers would need assistance on that island.”
Farmers who already have loans with HDOA may also meet with loan officers to discuss repayment options due to hardship.
For more information on agricultural loans, call the Agricultural Loan Division on Oahu at 973-9460 or call HDOA’s Kauai office at 274-3069 and ask to be transferred to the Oahu Ag Loan office. Information is also available on the division’s webpage: /hdoa/agl/agl
For more information, contact:
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560