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Farmers encouraged to learn about natural disaster assistance

By Staff | Nov 18, 2010

KAHULUI — With the year winding down, 2010 has presented Hawaii’s agricultural growers with multiple challenges, including a drought, vog, new pests and diseases, as well as an ailing economy.

Now there is one more “threat” to the local farming community: a major change in national disaster assistance rules.

The USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA’s) Disaster Assistance Programs are now directly linked to federal crop insurance.

This means producers must obtain crop insurance to be eligible for the FSA disaster funds.

For crops that are non-insurable — such as vegetables, cut flowers, animals, cacao, taro and fruit other than bananas and papayas — coverage must be obtained under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).

With this in mind, the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Local Immigrant and Farmer Education (LIFE) program and other co-sponsors are offering workshops statewide for growers to learn about crop insurance, disaster assistance and risk management.

On Maui, the Crop Insurance & Disaster Assistance workshop will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Kahului Cooperative Extension Service Office.

Register three days prior to the event by calling Robin at 244-3242, extension 231, or via e-mail to ShimabukuR@ctahr.hawaii.edu.