Many of the businesses in south Puna were agriculturally based and have suffered major losses due to the lava flows and caustic volcano gases. Most of the farms did not have crop insurance according to an insurance agent, but the US Department of Agriculture and the State of Hawaii have a number of limited programs which could assist farmers with their losses.
US Federal Government, Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency
154 Waianuenue Ave, Rm 122
Hawaii Country Executive Director, Lester Ueda
Linda Kow – Manager, Farm Loan Programs, Room 219
(808) 933-8343 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm Service Agency, Emergency Loans (EM)
The Emergency Loan Program is available to eligible farmers to rebuild and recover from losses caused by the disaster. Information may be obtained by contacting Farm Loan Programs, Rm 219, 808 933-8381, Ext 2 or by contacting the Farm Loan Manager directly.
Farm Service Agency, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides financial assistance to producers of noninsured crops to protect against natural disaster that result in lower yields or crop losses. NAP applies only to specific crops and payments are limited to $125,000 per farm annually. This program requires pre-registration by specific annual deadlines depending on the crop. For example, in Hawaii floral crops must be pre-registered by 30 September. Please call for NAP sign up deadlines that apply to your crops.
- The USDA, Farm Service Agency has an office in Hilo at 154 Waianuenue Ave, Rm 122. Please call 808 93308381, ext. 2 for more information or to start the application process.
Additionally the USDA has four other disaster assistance programs to cover tree and livestock losses:
State of Hawaii Emergency Disaster Loan Program for Kilauea Eruption
On 29 May, The Hawaii Board of Agriculture approved emergency, low interest “last resort” agricultural loans for Hawaii farmers suffering damage from the Kilauea volcano eruption.
- The loans can be up to $500,000 and have interest rates of 3%.
- Although the requirement for collateral can be negotiated, the applicant must have been rejected by two commercial or government lenders.
- Micro loans of up to $25,000 can also be approved with swifter processing.
More information and an application are found at: hdoa.hawaii.gov/agl
State of Hawaii
Agricultural Loan Division
75 Aupuna Street, #104