As of mid-June, the Puna region had sustained over $14 million in agricultural losses, according to the 13 June Hawaii Governor’s letter to FEMA. It was estimated that 50% of the state’s cut flower industry and up to 80% of the papaya crops has also been lost.
Additionally the State may have to find replacement land for farmers who have lost their farms to lava flows. An official of the County Department of Land and Natural Resources has said there is not much state land available out of the rift zone.
Finally the caustic volcanic gases are likely causing additional losses to the island’s other major cash crops: coffee and macadamia nuts. Regretfully many farms do not carry crop insurance, according to local insurance agent.
Visit the Agricultural Assistance page for more information and to learn about programs available to assist farmers with these losses.