Grow Hawai`i Agriculture Program Awards Funds to Six Proposals

Posted on Jun 16, 2021 in Main

Total $1.5 Million to Increase Commercial Ag Production                                                          

June 16, 2021

HONOLULU – The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has awarded funds to six proposals totaling $1.5 million under the Grow Hawai`i Agriculture Initiative 2021, a program aimed at assisting established local agricultural enterprises to quickly scale up production and increasing the state’s gross domestic product.

“The program was impressed with the quality of the 45 proposals it received from diverse agricultural businesses,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture. “The proposals were awarded to businesses with proven track records of success and that have demonstrated the ability to significantly increase agricultural production and expand markets for Hawai`i-grown commodities.”

The following companies were each awarded $250,000 for their proposed activities:

Business Entity County Proposal
Agrefab LLC O`ahu Expand farm operations and scale up agricultural drying and juicing facility. Commodities: turmeric, passion fruit, ginger, moringa, breadfruit, avocado, taro, mamaki, cassava, coffee cherry
Hawaiian Golden Farm O`ahu & Kaua`i Expand acreage and automate farming operation. Create new value-added products for local consumption and domestic and international export. Commodities: Okinawan sweet potato, ginger, herbs, papaya
Kawamata Farms, LLC Hawai`i Island Expansion of hydroponic greenhouse operation to produce premium ripened on-the-vine Roma tomatoes for local markets
Mālama Kaua‘i Kaua`i Expand the Moloaʻa ‘ĀINA Center food hub to provide processing facilities, technical assistance programming and expanded aggregation/distribution services for over 100 Kauaʻi farmers, ranchers and food producers. Expand value-added production for commodities grown on Kaua`i.
SK Natural Farms, LLC O`ahu Establish a small animal harvest unit for hog farmers to address supply chain bottlenecks and increase local pork production.
Zhao Produce Inc. O`ahu Expansion of Thai and Italian basil production and creation of value-added products for export to U.S. Mainland and Canada markets.

Consideration for the awards was based on agricultural operations that have demonstrated business success and were in need of urgent funding to expand their commercial production and that have established business models that can effectively contribute to the growth of agriculture in the state.

This initiative is a collaboration with the University of Hawai’i-Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Funds for this program were provided by the Hawai`i State Legislature in 2020.