Hawaii Receives $379,000 for Specialty Crop Grants

NR12-12 – October 1, 2012

HONOLULU – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that Hawaii will receive about $379,074* to fund projects through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.  This block grant program, administered through the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), aims to strengthen markets and expand economic opportunities for local and regional farmers and producers.

The following projects will be funded through the block grant:

  • “Breadfruit – From Tree to Consumer:  Information Guides, Video, and Workshop,” Hawaii Homegrown Food Network (Craig Elevitch) – $46,222
  • “A New Strategic Plan for Hawaii Tea – Step One, the Propagation Initiative,”  The Tea Chest (Byron Goo) – $50,000
  • “Hawaii Organic Program Office:  Research and Development,” Kohala Center (Elizabeth Cole) – $36,140
  • “Establishing a Breadfruit (Ulu) Orchard Incubator,” Mililani Agricultural Park, LLC
    (Wayne Ogasawara) – $49,900
  • “The 2013 Hawaii Food and Wine Festival,”  Hawaii Agricultural Foundation (Denise Hayashi) – $25,000
  • “Hawaii Natural Honey Challenge, Expansion and Development,”  Big Island Beekeepers Association (Cary Dizon) – $22,800
  • “Hawaii-Grown Cacao Month including the 3rd Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival,” Hawaii Chocolate Association (Amy Hammond) – $24,938
  • “Revealing the Hidden Health Benefits of Hawaii Grown Avocado,” University of Hawaii
    (Maria Stewart) – $25,000
  • “From Chemistry to Consumption Capsicum frutescens,” University of Hawaii (Jon-Paul Bingham) – $20,000
  • “Cashew Project,”  – HDOA-Market Development Branch – $56,212


“The programs and research funded by this grant will help to support and expand existing specialty crops as well as establish new crops for our state,”  said Russell S. Kokubun, Chairperson, Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “It’s the potential for new crop development that makes this grant program different and extremely valuable to our state.”

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands received grants this year, totaling $55 million. Visit www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp to review the 2012 project summaries and view a list of awards by location.  To view the USDA news release on the Specialty Crop Block Grant awards, go to:  https://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2012/10/0315.xml&contentidonly=true

*  The full award amount from USDA is $379,074; however, about $22,000 will be paid in administrative costs to Budget & Finance.