Farmers in Maui and Hawaii counties who have been affected by drought can apply for emergency loans and other federal assistance, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday.

Maui County locator map

As of the end of March, almost 80% of the state was experiencing some level of drought, spurring anxiety among farmers and ranchers. In response, the federal government designated Maui and Hawaii counties as natural disaster areas because of the lack of rainfall, paving the way for farmers in those counties to apply for financial support from the federal government.

Farmers who’ve been affected by the drought have until Dec. 8 to apply for assistance.

The federal government weighs applications based on a number of factors, including the extent of production losses and the farmer’s ability to repay loans, according to the news release. Farmers who are interested in applying for the assistance can learn more by contacting their local Farm Service Agency Office.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by a grant from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation.

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