USA - Crop loss estimated over 90%; local farmers can apply for aid

05.06.2023 380 views

Farmers may have lost 90% to 100% of crops due to Typhoon Mawar, according to preliminary estimates from the Guam Department of Agriculture.

The agency announced the Agriculture Development Services Division is beginning an assessment of crops destroyed by Mawar, which will be used to provide compensation for losses incurred by farmers.

Federal and local aid is available for farmers and ranchers, who are encouraged to apply.

Local aid

Relief for losses to crops, livestock and property damaged by Mawar is available through the locally funded crop loss compensation program. The program doesn't cover 100% of losses, but serves as recovery support to help farmers and ranchers get back on their feet, according to the local agriculture agency.

Priority is given to eligible farmers/ranchers who meet all three of the following criteria:

• Registered with the Guam Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Development Services as bona fide farmers or ranchers.

• Engaged in the commercial production of crops (vegetables or fruit trees) and/or livestock.

• Current and in good standing with production reports (due every six months from date of certification).

Registered commercial farmers in good standing get first priority. Registered subsistence farmers and unregistered commercial farmers will be assessed and considered next.

Applications for the crop loss compensation program will be available starting June 5. Applicants have 10 working days to submit applications with all the required documents and pictures.

According to the Guam Department of Agriculture, documents that assist with processing include: valid identification; listing of crops/livestock losses and amounts (acreage or count); list of equipment lost; time sheets and employment contracts for labor; total acreage farmed; receipts (crop/livestock purchases, fertilizers, water usage, fuel, etc.).

Stop in at the following locations to get applications and speak with officials about the program:

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 6 at the Farmers’ Cooperative Association of Guam or the Inalåhan Mayor’s Office.

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 7-20 at the Guam Department of Agriculture's wildlife building.

Federal aid

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering aid, according to the Joint Information Center. USDA offers disaster assistance programs for livestock, fruit and vegetable, specialty and perennial crop producers.

The Livestock Indemnity Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died as a result of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed and forage. Producers will need to file a notice of loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days.

The Tree Assistance Program provides cost-share assistance to qualifying orchards and nurseries to rehabilitate and replant trees, vines or shrubs damaged in a natural disaster.

Individuals need to file a program application within 90 days.

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