HDOA Looks to Grow Local Ag Through New Financial Initiative

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The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting proposals for the Grow Hawai`i Agriculture Initiative 2021an initiative to quickly scale up commercial agricultural production including the production of value-added products with the goal to increase the contribution of agriculture to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). The GDP is the total market value of final goods and services produced that also serves as an indicator of economic health.

Under the Grow Hawai`i Initiative, HDOA expects to award about six proposals from commercial agricultural enterprises for up to $250,000 or some alternate combination deemed most advantageous to the state. This request is for local farmers, ranchers and other operators with proven track record of success but in need of urgent funding to expand their commercial production and to establish working models that can effectively contribute to growth of agriculture GDP by implementing one or more of the strategies as follows:

A.    Expansion  Expanding the size, diversity and/or scope of operations.

B.    Input Chain Enhancement  Enhance production through addressing challenges in supply/cost of inputs to an agricultural operation.


C.   Technology  Increasing production efficiency through use of new and emerging technologies.

D.   Supply Chain Enhancement  Address the supply chain bottlenecks that plague Hawai´i agriculture, i.e. lack of infrastructure (cold storage, processing, distribution challenges), establishment of cooperative ventures, etc.

E.    Value-added Products  Increase the value-added potential; either at their hands or by that of another business entity.

Information on the request for proposals may be found at the Hawai‘i State Procurement website.


Applications/proposals must be emailed to [email protected] and received by noon HST, May 3, 2021. Project funds are expected to be available in July 2021.

“The goal of this initiative is to fund projects by proven commercial enterprises that can significantly move the needle for Hawai´i agriculture,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai´i Board of Agriculture. “We know that with some funding support, local agricultural businesses can overcome some of the roadblocks and barriers that challenge economic growth in agriculture, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic environment.”

The scope of services and expectations of this proposal are to:

A.    Implement business plan immediately to expand or scale-up commercial agricultural production and contribute to growth of agriculture GDP during the term of contract. 


B.    Develop reasonable and generally accepted business metrics (e.g. output, sales, profits, labor count, assets, etc.) to gauge progress, milestones attained and final outcomes of the project.

C.  Record and compile noteworthy experiences (extraordinary progress, outcomes and/or challenges encountered).

D.  Meet with the State upon request to report on the project’s status, progress and other issues or challenges that may arise during course of work.

E.   Maintain proper accounting procedures and practices acceptable to the State, including, maintaining books, records, documents and other evidence related to project’s performance.

F.   Provide for the State’s approval a progress report, progress fiscal report, final report and final fiscal report at specified times.

This initiative is a collaboration with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), University of Hawai´i. Funds for this program totaling $1.5 million in were provided by the State Legislature last session.

Questions regarding the application process may addressed to HDOA’s Agricultural Development Division via email at: [email protected].

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