KAUAI (Hawaii News Now) - After heavy rains and severe flooding caused millions of dollars in damage last month, the Secretary of Agriculture approved a secretarial agricultural disaster designation for the Garden Isle.
The designation makes Kauai County farmers eligible for assistance from the U.S. Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans. Gov. David Ige requested the federal designation on April 24 when he submitted a preliminary damage report.
Kauai farmers have eight months to apply for FSA emergency loans that would cover losses to agricultural production and operations incurred as a result of the damaging storms.
"While the state has emergency agricultural loan programs, we also need federal disaster assistance to help get our farmers back in production," said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, in a news release.
Farmers wishing to apply for federal loans can contact the FSA office on Kauai at 808-245-9014 extension 2. Those wishing to apply for state loans can contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture's Loan Division at 808-973-9460.
"The damage from the record-breaking rainfall took an extreme toll on our farmers," Ige said in a news release. "We need to make sure that all possible assistance for our farmers is available so they can recover and thrive once again."