Market Development Branch

The mission of the Market Development Branch is to facilitate the development of the agricultural industry through the expansion of new and existing markets.


Feb. 8, 2023

The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Market Development Branch is currently accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) Fiscal Year 2023. The HDOA will be awarding a total of approximately $450,000 to Hawai`i proposals that enhance the competitiveness of Hawai`i specialty crops. Project awards may range up to $50,000. Under the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allocated funding to each state based on the value of the specialty crops produced in the state.

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Much of Hawai`i’s diversified agriculture falls under this specialty crop designation. Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops.

The primary goal in this grant program is to support projects that could provide the highest measurable benefits or return-on-investment to the specialty crop segment in Hawai`i. Projects must enhance the competitiveness of Hawai`i-grown specialty crops, in either the domestic or foreign markets. Preference will be given to projects that measurably increase the production and/or consumption of specialty crops, and/or foster the development of fledging crops and organic operations.

Information on the Request for Proposals (RPF23-03-MDB) is available on the State Procurement Office website at:

The application deadline is noon on March 3, 2023. 

Those interested in applying for this grant may view the informational webinar recording at:

Contact Yukashi Smith for more information via email: [email protected] or call (808) 973-9627.

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Updated Dec. 29, 2022

The Market Development Branch has announced that 579 grants, totaling about $2.7 million, were approved for the current MGFSP FY 2021. Those grant applicants that have been approved were notified on Dec. 29, 2022. If you did not receive notification, the application was not able to be funded.

More than 7,400 applications were received and we appreciate everyone’s patience as the review and approval process continued.

To view the award list, go to the State Procurement Office website at: (search for “micro-grants”)

To view the news release on the awards, go to:

The next round for the FY22 application open enrollment period is expected sometime in Spring or Summer 2023. If you would like to notified when the next round opens, please email the micro-grants program at [email protected]

Updates will be posted on this webpage as information becomes available.

Mahalo for your interest in and support of Hawai`i agriculture!


The HDOA Market Development Team

News articles:



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From left: Andrew Phomsouvanh, Nicole Pfeffer, Sharon Hurd, Marci Clingan, Karen Sur, Yukashi Smith

Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Development Division
Market Development Branch
1428 South King Street
Honolulu, HI, 96814-2512

Phone: (808) 973-9595
Fax: (808) 973-9590
E-mail: [email protected]