(BIVN) – Disaster assistance meetings for Hawaiʻi Island farmers impacted by recent disasters, like the eruption of Kīlauea Volcano or Hurricane Lane, are scheduled to held through October, and will include meetings in Pahala, Pāhoa, and Kealakekua.
According to the United State Department of Agriculture:
Agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019 can apply through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). Sign-up for this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program began Sept. 11.
“There is no doubt that extreme weather has greatly impacted Hawaii’s agricultural producers over the last several years,” said AL Frenzel, executive director for Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. “Congress recently passed a disaster relief package which will benefit Hawaii and Pacific Basin producers who have suffered from tropical storms, hurricanes, flooding, volcano eruption and typhoon-caused damages.”
WHIP+ Eligibility WHIP+ will be available for eligible producers who have suffered eligible losses of certain crops, trees, bushes or vines in counties with a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a Secretarial Disaster Designation (primary Counties only). Disaster losses must have been a result of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms or wildfires that occurred in 2018 or 2019.
• Tropical Storms Gita, Maria and Olivia;
• April flooding of Kauai and Honolulu Counties;
• Lava and VOG impacting Hawaii County after the volcano eruption;
• Hurricane Lane; and
• Typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu.
Also, producers in Counties that did not receive a disaster declaration or designation may still apply for WHIP+ but must provide supporting documentation to establish that the crops were directly affected by a qualifying disaster loss.
A list of counties that received qualifying disaster declarations and designations is available at here. Because grazing and livestock losses, other than milk losses, are covered by other disaster recovery programs offered through FSA, those losses are not eligible for WHIP+.
Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage is available, excluding crops intended for grazing. A list of crops covered by crop insurance is available through USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Actuarial Information Browser.
Outreach Meetings FSA will hold 12 customer outreach meetings throughout Hawaii and U.S. Territories in the Pacific to discuss WHIP+. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will also be on hand to discuss programs they offer to producers and landowners.
Outreach presentations will be held in each of Hawaii’s counties as well as Guam, Saipan, Rota and American Samoa.
USDA “stressed the importance of producers to attend the outreach meetings so they can learn first-hand the records requirements necessary to document their losses in order to apply for assistance.”
The outreach meetings on Hawaiʻi Island will take place at:
- Sept. 27, 4-6 p.m., Pahoa Community Center, 15-3022 Kauhale St., Pahoa, HI
- Sept. 30, 4-6 p.m., Kau District Gym Multi-Purpose, 96-1219 Kamani St, Pahala, HI
- Oct. 1, 4-6 p.m., CTAHR Ext. Office – Kainaliu Office, 79-7381 Hawaii Belt Road, Kealakekua, HI