Hawaii Agricultural Programs Receive $430,600 from Federal Block Grant Program

Posted on Mar 25, 2021 in Main


March 25, 2021

HONOLULU – Hawai`i has been awarded $430,600 to help strengthen the state’s specialty crop industry through a federal block grant program. The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has approved 10 project proposals under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which aims to enhance the competitiveness of Hawai`i-grown specialty crops in local, domestic and international markets.

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Much of Hawai`i’s diversified agriculture falls under this specialty crop designation.

“Hawai`i initiatives that are being funded under this program will help our farmers and growers increase production, expand their markets and help boost our agricultural economy,” said Gov. David Ige. “With the constant challenges inherent in agriculture, support like this can be essential in helping to improve and grow the industry.”

“Specialty crops are the backbone of Hawai`i agriculture,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture. “It is encouraging to see that we are able to fund several research projects, including those that address critical agricultural issues such as the plant diseases and pests.”

HDOA received 37 project proposals for the grant and 10 were chosen by a selection committee based on their potential to benefit the industry. The selected projects will help increase production for farmers and growers, manage plant diseases and pest, increase food safety for manufactured and value-added products, and enhance marketing programs, among other objectives.

While not a requirement of this federal grant, many of these initiatives have additional or matching funds from other sources, providing greater leverage to the grant funds.  (See project list below)

More information on the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is available at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp

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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Awardee Funding


Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association $38,850 The Value and Accessibility of Hawaiian Floriculture: Educating the Wedding Industry
`E Kupaku Ka`aina – The Hawaii Land Restoration Institute $48,104.22 Understanding Traditional Hawaiian Agricultural Knowledge to Improve Taro Production and Resilience in Crop Systems: Phase II
Hawaii Master Food Preservers, Inc. $40,887 Safely Preserving Locally Grown Specialty Produce through Hawai`i Master Food Preservers Online Training
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Daniel K. Inouye Pacific Basin
Area Research Center
$40,000 Understanding and Mitigating Coffee Leaf
Rust with Coffee Berry Borer control in
Hawai`i Agricultural Research Center $39,700 Propagation of Ti, Cordyline fruticosa, to support the food/flower/and ornamental industries
University of Hawaii – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) $55,000 Expanding Availability of High Yielding
Mamaki Varieties for Better Selection by Hawai`i Growers
UH-CTAHR $40,000 Improving the Growth and Yield of Tomato through new Integrated Pest Management Strategies
UH-CTAHR $38,386 Protecting Hawai`i’s Chinese Cabbage,
Mustard Greens, and Brassica Industry
through Precision Nutrient Management
Oahu Resource Conservation & Development Council $49,805.32 Enhancing Cacao Production by Improving Producers’ Evaluation of, Access to, and Installation of Grafted Varieties
UH-CTAHR $39,884.88 Improving the Sustainable Production of Hawaii’s Ornamental Industry through Precision Nutrient Management
                                 TOTAL: $430,617.42