Governor Ige, county mayors announce assistance for Kauaʻi and Waimānalo farmersPosted on Apr 26, 2018 in Latest Department News, Office of the Governor Press Releases
HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige has directed the state Dept. of Agriculture to assist farmers whose operations were heavily damaged by powerful storms that caused severe flooding on Kauaʻi and in Waimānalo on O‘ahu earlier this month.
“Agriculture is vital to our economy and our communities. It is the centerpiece of the state’s effort to double food production in Hawai‘i and create more opportunities for exporting. The state and county are providing farmers with the assistance they need, and I will request federal assistance once the required county, state and federal assessments are complete,” said Gov. Ige.
“Everyone in Hawai‘i depends on agriculture: economically, for sustenance, and for cultural value,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “Our hearts are with our farmers in this time of need, and we are assisting them with our state, federal, county, and community partners.”
“Farmers are a critical part of our community and we need to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible so they can go back to doing what they do best — feeding Hawaiʻi’s people,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
Specifically, the following actions will assist farmers in the designated disaster areas:
- Collect damage assessments on farms affected by the storms along with the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau and the Hawai‘i Farmers’ Union.
- Prioritize low-interest loans from the Hawai‘i Dept. of Agriculture’s loan division to help get damaged farms back into production. Loan repayment schedules will be deferred until the farmers are back in production with sufficient revenue streams.
- Initiate a series of workshops in which farmers can engage with and get help from the various federal, state and county agencies that can assist in kick-starting production.
The state, Kaua‘i County, the City and County of Honolulu, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) regional office are conducting joint preliminary damage assessments as part of the required FEMA disaster application process. If the damage assessment is over the federally-mandated threshold, the governor will submit a request to the president through FEMA’s Regional Administrator for a major disaster or emergency declaration.
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Office of the Governor