Ag board OKs disaster loan program

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Board of Agriculture on Tuesday approved parameters for emergency low-interest agricultural loans for farmers suffering damage due to the heavy rain and flooding on Kauai and Oahu in April and the current eruption phase at Kilauea volcano on Hawaii Island.

The Board approved the emergency loan program which offers disaster-related loans of up to $500,000 at an interest rate of 3 percent.

“The Board’s approval ensures that funding is available to support agricultural recovery efforts,” said Gov. David Ige.

HDOA also offers microloans of up to $25,000 that involves less paperwork and offers swifter processing.

“The financial burden of the recent natural disasters hits the agriculture industry particularly hard,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii 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, Ige declared the County of Kauai a disaster area due to heavy rains and flooding and authorized state funds for disaster relief.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture issued a disaster declaration for the County of Kauai.

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