6 Hawaiian companies received $ 250,000 each to increase agricultural production



Six farms have each received $ 250,000 through a state Department of Agriculture initiative to rapidly increase local agricultural output.

Working with the University of Hawaii at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources in Manoa, the DOA received $ 1.5 million from state lawmakers last year for the Grow Hawaii Agriculture Initiative 2021. The goal of the program is to raise six to give selected companies the opportunity to ramp up their agricultural production.

“The program was impressed with the quality of the 45 proposals it received from various farms,” ​​said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, Chair of the Agriculture Committee, in a statement. “The proposals were given to companies that have a proven track record of success and the ability to significantly increase agricultural production and expand markets for raw materials grown in Hawaii.”

Three of the winning companies – Agrefab LLC, SK Natural Farms LLC, and Zhao Produce Inc. – are based on Oahu. Kawamata Farms is based in Hawaii County and Malama Kauai is located in Kauai. Hawaiian Golden Farm is located on Oahu and Kauai.

The proposals for the six $ 250,000 awards varied.

Agrefab will use its money to “grow farms” and expand its agricultural drying and juice facility, while Kawamata Farms plans to expand its hydroponic greenhouse operation to produce Roma tomatoes.

Malama Kauai will use the award to expand its Moloaa AINA Center food center to provide processing facilities, aggregation and distribution services to more than 100 Kauai farmers, ranchers and food producers.

SK Natural Farms will “set up a small animal harvest unit” for pig farmers to increase local pork production and resolve supply chain bottlenecks.

Hawaiian Golden Farm plans to expand its acreage and automate its farm operations while creating value-added products that will be sold locally and exported elsewhere. And Zhao Produce will expand its Thai and Italian basil harvest, and also create value-added products for both local use and export.

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