David Y. Igé | HDOA Press Release: Federal Farm Disaster Declaration for Maui County Drought
HDOA Press Release: Federal Farm Disaster Declaration for Maui County Drought
HONOLULU – US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack has approved Governor David Ige’s request for an agricultural disaster secretariat designation for the drought emergency in Maui County.
Governor Ige requested the federal declaration of disaster due to prolonged drought conditions in the county that began in March 2019. In January, Governor Ige issued an emergency proclamation declaring a drought disaster in Maui County after herders and farmers suffered significant economic losses, including damage from large numbers of axis deer migrating to agricultural and developed areas in search of food and water.
“Although the county faced heavy rains this week, it does not remedy the damage caused by the prolonged drought,” Governor Ige said. “The federal drought disaster declaration will allow our farmers and ranchers to access federal assistance programs and assist them in recovery efforts. “
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing about 60 applications for state grants to help farm operations that have suffered damage from drought-intensified Axis deer populations in the county. “said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chair of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.
The disaster secretariat designation makes farms in the county eligible for some assistance, including emergency loans, from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
# # #
Janelle Saneishi, Head of Public Information
Hawaii Department of Agriculture