Higgins leads delegation urging disaster request be approved for crawfish farmers

Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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Special to the American Press

U.S.  Congressman Clay Higgins, R-La., led members of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation on a letter to U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabel Guzman in support of Gov. Jeff Landry’s disaster declaration in response to 2023 drought conditions.

The delegation urges the Small Business Administration to approve Louisiana’s request and extend the deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loan filing through the end of the crawfish season so that Louisiana businesses can have access to critical financial assistance.

“Many industries throughout Louisiana suffered immensely due to drought, as well as a prolonged saltwater intrusion, which negatively impacted crawfish producers as well as downstream businesses. Crawfish processors, wholesalers, boilers, and other related enterprises are not eligible for agriculture relief programs, but their livelihoods are dependent on a robust crawfish crop. In response, we request a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),” wrote the delegation.

The letter emphasizes the economic impact local industries have faced.

“According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana’s commercial supply of crawfish has an estimated $300 million impact on the state’s economy. It is important to note that the entire supply chain has seen and will continue to see major financial losses this season because of severe deficits in crawfish production, with Louisiana State University’s AgCenter estimating losses in production to be $140 million.”