HDOA press release
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with costs associated with axis deer overpopulation on Maui, Molokai and Lanai). At an August 23 meeting, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture (Board) approved the application for an emergency loan program by the Agricultural Lending Division. Applications will be accepted from September 1 to December 31.
In March 2022, Governor Ige issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maui County due to drought conditions. Additional proclamations extended the relief period to September 20. Emergency proclamations include provisions for the relief of damage, loss and suffering caused by Axis deer, which have decimated agricultural crops and pastures as they migrate to seek water and feed. The estimated axis deer population in the county is at least 60,000.
“Prolonged drought conditions have exacerbated problems associated with overpopulation of axis deer in Maui County,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chair of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Low-interest emergency loans offer some relief to farmers and ranchers in dealing with their losses and help with the cost of fencing and other mitigation measures.”
The Board approved the following emergency loan amounts, terms and parameters. The maximum loan amount is $150,000, with terms to be determined on a case-by-case basis, as needed. Consideration will be based on historical farm performance and projected cash flows based on reasonable revenue and expense assumptions. The interest rate for the loans is three percent. The denial of credit requirement will be waived for loans of $100,000 or less. Loans over $100,000 up to the $150,000 limit will require a credit rejection. (Credit rejections from conventional lenders are generally required for non-emergency government loan programs). The three-year residency requirement for U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens does not apply. Warranty requirements may be changed or waived, if necessary, on a case-by-case basis. As far as possible, the provisions of article 155-11, Guarantee of loans, must be followed.
For agribusinesses and farmers needing loans of $50,000 or less, micro-loans involving less paperwork and faster processing are also available.
For more information, contact the Agricultural Lending Division in Honolulu at
808-973-9460 or email [email protected].