9 Aug 2004

Farmers in American Samoa get loans to repair damage caused by Cyclone Heta

8:17 am on 9 August 2004

Farmers in American Samoa have started to receive loans to help them recover from the effects of Cyclone Heta.

The storm damaged crops, livestock, machinery and property when it hit the territory in January.

An official of the US Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, Pona Ala, says farmers who filled loan applications in April and May this year, are starting to receive their loan cheques.

Federal officials were in the territory in May to review applications for low-interest disaster loans.

American Samoa farmers are being reminded that documentation and accurate bookkeeping is a must.

Loan applicants have to have confirmation that they're commercial farmers, from the family chief, the local Department of Agriculture, and the Cooperative Extension Service.

Pona Ala says the farmers' financial programmes will continue as long as they meet the requirements.