HONOLULU – The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting loan applications from agricultural and aquacultural operations to fund renewable energy technology under Act 209, which was recently enacted by Governor Linda Lingle. This new loan program has a maximum loan amount of $1.5 million or 85 percent of the renewable energy project cost, whichever is less.
“Like many businesses, energy costs for agricultural operations can be significant,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “This new loan program provides financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and aquaculturists to reduce their dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce their energy costs.”
Renewable energy technologies that would qualify under the program include photovoltaic, hydroelectric, wind, methane, biodiesel and ethanol. Loan funds may be used for infrastructure, equipment, land improvement and operating costs associated with the project. The program also makes available loans for food safety projects to ensure a safe food supply for Hawai`i.
Loans granted through December 31, 2008 will have between a three and five percent interest rate, depending on the type of operation. Applicants must be full-time farmer, rancher, grower or aquaculturist and must have resided in Hawai`i for the past three years and also has been a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident of the U.S. during that period.
Applications are also being accepted for the regular agricultural loan program, which offers four percent interest until December 31, 2008.
For more information on how to apply for the loans, contact the nearest HDOA Agricultural
Oahu: Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
1428 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
Telephone: (808) 973-9460
Hilo: Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
16 East Lanikaula Street, Hilo, Hawai`i 96720
Telephone: (808) 974-4140
Kona Civic Center
82-6130 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, Hawai`i 96704
Telephone: (808) 323-7591
Kaua`i: Telephone: 274-3141, extension 39460 (Toll Free)
Maui: Telephone: 984-2400, extension 39460 (Toll Free)
Moloka`i: Telephone: 1-800-468-4644, extension 39460 (Toll Free)
Information on all types of state agricultural loans may be found at: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/agl/agricultural-loan-division