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Program offers funding for farmers, ranchers hurt by deer

The Maui News

Farmers and ranchers on Molokai and Maui who have suffered losses due to the overpopulation of deer can apply for up to $10,000 under a new emergency relief program.

The state Department of Agriculture is putting $200,000 toward the program and is now accepting applications, according to a news release Monday.

Qualified agricultural and livestock operations on Molokai and Maui can apply for up to $10,000 through the state’s procurement platform at hands.ehawaii.gov/ hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/19971. The deadline is noon on March 8.

“The prolonged drought situation in Maui County has caused significant economic losses to farmers and ranchers in large part due to the overpopulation of axis deer,” Gov. David Ige said in a news release. “This program will provide some relief for damaged field crops and depleted pasture forage that is necessary for the livestock industry.”

Ige issued an emergency proclamation on Jan. 26 declaring Maui County a disaster area due to drought conditions that began in March 2019. The proclamation enables the state to provide relief from damages, losses and suffering caused by the disaster and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people.

Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, said the department would continue to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on disaster relief programs for Maui County’s agricultural industry.

For more information, contact marci.clingan@ hawaii.gov.

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