Grant To Help Small, Disadvantaged Farmers

October 1, 2013, 10:54 AM HST
* Updated October 1, 4:31 PM
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The Big Island’s Kohala Center has been awarded a $151,913 federal grant to assist small, socially disadvantaged farmers in Hawaii.

The grant will provide technical assistance to three Big Island farm cooperatives — Palili ‘O Kohala Cooperative, Kau Agricultural Water Cooperative and the Cho Global Natural Farming Cooperative in Hilo — and the Maui Aquaponics Cooperative.

“Rural cooperatives are in a position to employ special marketing strategies to increase the bottom line for their farmers but may not always have the experience to do so,” said Russell S. Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “The Kohala Center has been a valuable resource for the agricultural community and this grant will expand its ability to strengthen these farming cooperatives.”

Hawaii was one of 13 states that received funding under the US Department of Agriculture’s Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers Grant, designed to offer technology assistance to help producers develop new markets and grow their operations. The award was announced Friday, Sept. 26.

The Kohala Center is an independent, non-profit research, conservation and education center in Waimea.

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