Business

Kona Coffee Farm Gets Study Grant

August 16, 2013, 10:28 AM HST
* Updated August 16, 5:14 PM
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A Kona coffee farm’s work on better ways to dry coffee beans was selected for funding from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program.

Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee was one of 42 projects across the nation to get funds from the $21 million program. REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and use more renewable technologies.

Dr. Robert Wood, a physician and co-proprietor of Arianna Farms, was awarded $25,000 to continue his project aimed at finding the most energy and cost-efficient way to dry coffee beans.

“How can we help farmers save money?” was the central question, Wood said. “What’s the best system? After this I think we’ll have a good idea.”

arianna-family

Robert, Sharon and daughter Arianna, owners of Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee. Courtesy photo.

Models include his current project using passive solar-heated air, and others using photovoltaic-generated electricity and solar-heated water systems, all with detailed analyses.

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Results of his studies should be a major benefit to the Kona coffee industry, he said, by cutting energy costs in one of the critical stages of coffee production and providing important data to work with.

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“This will generate ongoing projects,” Wood said. “It’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee is a family-run operation begun in 2000 by Dr. Wood, his wife Sharon and their daughter Arianna, for whom the company was named.

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