HONOLULU — The state Board of Agriculture Thursday approved an emergency loan program for farmers, growers and ranchers across the state who are suffering economically due to the COVID-19 situation.
The loan program is effective immediately.
Eligible farmers may now apply for emergency loans of up to $150,000 at 3% interest. Loans of $100,000 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 requirement normally required for agricultural loans.
“As with many sectors of our community, our agricultural industry is suffering serious financial hardship due to the closure of restaurants, hotels and other businesses, said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, board chairperson.
“The emergency loan program will help agribusinesses survive through this crisis so they will be able to resume their operations on the other side of this pandemic.”
The board also authorized state loan officers to modify or waive collateral requirements, as deemed necessary, on a case-by-case basis. Loan applications for emergency loans relating to COVID-19 will be accepted until December 31.
Farmers interested in applying for emergency loans should contact their nearest state Department of Agriculture office, (808) 973-9460.
Besides emergency loans, the DOA also offers micro-loans for those needing loans of $25,000 or less. Micro-loans involve less paperwork and swifter processing.
In addition, current agricultural loan-holders who are suffering financially due to COVID-19 may also request payment relief or forbearance.
Info: 973-9460 or hdoa.hawaii.gov/agl