News Release – NR08-04 – February 5, 2008

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 in News-Releases

HONOLULU – Farmers suffering damage from wind, heavy rains and flooding that occurred from December 4 to 14, 2007, may be eligible for low-interest loans from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Agricultural Loan Division.  Governor Linda Lingle issued a disaster proclamation on December 7, 2007 and the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture (HBOA) approved the emergency loan parameters at its meeting on January 22, 2008.

“The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture is continuing to help Hawai`i farmers who have been hit hard by several bouts of bad weather in recent years,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the HBOA. “While damage assessments from this weekend’s storm on the Big Island and Kaua‘i are still being assessed, this emergency loan program will help farmers who are still recovering from crop losses and other farm damage incurred in December.”

Farmers may apply for the emergency loans up to $250,000 at 3 percent interest.  In order to fast-track the loan process, requests of $75,000 or less will not require credit denials from other financial institutions, which would normally be required for agricultural loans.  The board also waived the three-year residency requirements normally required for agricultural loans.  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.    Loan applications for emergency loans relating to the December 2007 storms will be accepted until October 31, 2008.

For more information on agricultural loans, call the Agricultural Loan Division:

            O‘ahu  –     973-9460

            Hilo      –     933-9976

            Kona    –     323-7591

Information is also available on the division’s webpage:

HDOA approved 46 emergency agricultural loans, totaling $1.8 million for the Spring 2006 heavy rains and flooding, three emergency loans totaling $57,000 for the October 2006 earthquakes and one emergency loan totaling $75,000 for the August 2007 wildfire in Waialua, O‘ahu.