Hawaii farmers may shut down due to hardships

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii farmers are running out of money and could wind up shutting down, which would hurt our local food supply.

That’s according to the head of the Hawaii Farm bureau, who told the House Select Committee on COVID-19 that many of the farmers rely on hotels, restaurants, and schools to stay in business.

Executive Director Brian Miyamoto says the federal government is helping but that money will probably not be available until next month.

“Our farmers need income now,” said Hawaii Farm Bureau Brian Miyamoto.”If they don’t have an income base, they cannot purchase the seed, the water, the fuel for their tractors, pay their leases, pay their labor. Not planting today means no food tomorrow, next week, next month, and potentially next year. We need our farmers to continue to farm and ranch.”

Miyamoto says most farmers do not qualify for unemployment because their families work the farms.

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