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By HNN Staff | April 11, 2020 at 1:33 PM HST - Updated April 11 at 1:33 PM
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Agriculture is offering a new emergency relief fund to help farmers, ranchers and food producers.
Individuals may receive up to $2,000 worth of aid; groups can get up to $10,000.
The help is coming from $250,000 of the State’s barrel tax fund (Agriculture Development and Food Security Special Fund), which was freed up when the governor signed the March 4 emergency proclamation.
So far the department has received 333 applications, which equals to a total request amount of $1.2 million.
“We all need to make sure that our farmers, ranchers and other food producing operations can survive through and eventually recover from this crisis,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.
“We ask that Hawaii consumers continue to support our local farmers and food producers through direct and indirect sales at farmers’ markets and community-supported agricultural efforts. Buy local, it matters," she added.
The review and award process is already underway and fund can be expected later this month.
The department is also considering deferring rent payments for lessees currently in the state’s agricultural land programs.
For more information on these programs and other relief efforts, farmers should contact the Department of Agriculture.