Updated: January 27, 2023
Motorists reported a deer strike in Kahului along Kaʻahumanu Avenue fronting Baldwin High School earlier today.
The incident sheds light on the axis deer problem on Maui, as the animals push into populated areas in search of food and water.
Axis deer have decimated agricultural crops and pastural lands on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. The added element of drought has compounded the problem, as they migrate to seek water and forage.
The estimated population of axis deer in the county is at least 60,000, and more and more people are reporting sightings in residential areas. Residents report deer have also pushed their way into the mountainous terrain of ʻĪao Valley, where they are eating foliage and contributing to the denuding of land.
Earlier this year, state officials reported that deer have also been encroaching onto active runways at the Kahului Airport, creating unsafe conditions for aircraft landings and take-offs.
In March 2022, Governor Ige issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maui County due to drought conditions. Supplementary proclamations have extended the relief period until Sept. 20, 2022.
Emergency loans available to assist with axis deer impacts
The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer in the County of Maui.
The Board approved the following emergency loan amounts, terms and parameters:
- Maximum loan amount: $150,000.
- Terms to be determined on a case-by-case basis as needed. Consideration will be based on historical farm performance and projected cash flow based onreasonable assumptions of revenue and expenses.
- Interest rate: 3%.
- The credit denial requirement shall be waived for loans $100,000 or less. Loans larger than $100,000 up to the limit of $150,000 shall require 1 credit denial. (Credit denials from conventional lenders is usually required for non-emergency state loan programs)
- The 3-year residency requirement for US Citizens and permanent resident aliens shall not apply.
- Collateral requirements may be modified or waived, as necessary, on a case-by-case basis. Wherever possible, the provisions of Section 155-11, Security forLoans, should be followed.
For agribusinesses and farmers needing loans of $50,000 or less, micro-loans involving less paperwork and swifter processing are also available.
For further information, contact the Agricultural Loan Division in Honolulu at
808-973-9460 or email email@example.com.