News

Department of Agriculture Accepting Applications for Micro-Grants

March 9, 2021, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated March 8, 4:55 PM
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The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting applications for the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program, which provides support for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations to help produce food in areas that are insecure.

In August 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Hawai`i a total of $1,938,556.80 for this grant program which was established under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Information on the Request for Proposals may be found at the Hawai‘i State Procurement website at: https://hands.ehawaii.gov/hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/20023. The maximum award for an individual is $5,000 for a project of 12 months, $2,500 for a six-month project. Under the grant program rules, religious organization, food banks and food pantries may also apply. Applications/proposals must be emailed to [email protected] and received by noon, April 23, 2021.

“Through the pandemic, there has been an increase in backyard and small-scale farming which has helped families to economically supplement their basic food needs,” said Gov. David Ige. “This grant program presents a unique opportunity to support subsistence agriculture in Hawai`i.”

“Small-scale farmers and food gardens are often left out of federal funding programs,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture. “In these cases, we know that a little support can go a long way to help food security for our families and communities.”

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Examples of the types of activities that may be funded under this grant include:

  • Small-Scale Gardening – purchase tools or equipment, soil, seeds, plants, canning equipment, refrigeration, composting equipment, towers, hydroponic and aeroponic farming.
  • Small-Scale Herding and Livestock Operations – purchase animals, buy, erect or repair fencing for livestock, activities or supplies associated with setting up or equipping a slaughter and processing facility, including purchasing mobile slaughterhouses.
  • Expanding Access to Food and Knowledge of Food Security – create or expand avenues for the sale of food commodities – includes paying for shipping of purchased items related to growing or raising food for local consumption.
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Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions, are available at the grant portal at: https://hands.ehawaii.gov/hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/20023

To assist interested parties with the application requirements, a Zoom webinar has been scheduled for:

Tuesday, Mar. 16, 2021 at 10 a.m.

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https://zoom.us/j/98372262871?pwd=MklnZWFMTXlsbXhjLzFIYXZLMHVEQT09

Meeting ID: 983 7226 2871

Passcode: HDOAMDB

Information and a recording of the webinar will also be posted at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/

Eligible proposals will be reviewed by a panel in each county and awards are expected to be announced in May 2021, with first disbursement of funds expected in July 2021.

Questions regarding the application process may addressed to HDOA’s Market Development Branch at (808) 973-9595 or email: [email protected]

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