State Funding Awarded to Local Ag Business to Allow for Operation Expansion
The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) awarded funds to six proposals totaling $1.5 million under the Grow Hawai`i Agriculture Initiative 2021, one of which went to Kawamata Farms, LLC on the Big Island.
The HDOA initiative is a program aimed at assisting established local agricultural enterprises to quickly scale up production and increasing the state’s gross domestic product.
Of the 45 proposals reviewed for funding, Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture, said they were impressed with the quality of all proposals received.
“The proposals were awarded to businesses with proven track records of success and that have demonstrated the ability to significantly increase agricultural production and expand markets for Hawai‘i-grown commodities,” Shimabukuro-Geiser said.
Each company was awarded $250,000. Kawamata Farms, LLC, plans to expand its hydroponic greenhouse operation to produce premium ripened on-the-vine Roma tomatoes for local markets.
Consideration for the awards was based on agricultural operations that have demonstrated business success and were in need of urgent funding to expand their commercial production and that have established business models that can effectively contribute to the growth of agriculture in the state.
This initiative is a collaboration with the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Funds for this program were provided by the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 2020.