$2.7M Awarded for Small-Scale Agriculture

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

HDOA News Release 

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has announced the award of 579 grants, totaling $2,684,350, for small-scale agriculture; including home gardening, herding and livestock operations in areas that are food insecure.

More than 7,400 applications were received this fall under the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP). The applications and project proposals were evaluated and ranked by HDOA’s Market Development Branch (MDB) and final approval was received last week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Funding for this grant program is provided by the USDA under the 2018 Farm Bill. Grant amounts ranged from $750 to $5,000.…

Farmers Union United Molokai Chapter Grows

Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

HFUU Molokai News Release

Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a statewide organization of farm owners, foodies, ranchers, gardeners, perma-culturalists, cultural practitioners, landscapers, suppliers, businesses, and policy advocates that are all part of the local food chain. HFUU is a partner of the National Farmers Union. HFUU asserts that a multitude of smallholder diversified family farms that implement regenerative ecological techniques in growing and raising our food will create a resilient, vital, and productive agricultural system to better feed the people of Hawaii. HFUU represents 15-regional chapters across six Hawaiian islands, including Molokai.

Our Molokai Chapter began on Dec. 17, 2021 initiated by a 10-person group of Hoʻolehua homesteaders after visiting Maui HFUU farms and members.…

The Garden of Easy

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

The Garden of Easy

By Paul Hanley, Community Reporter

It’s been about 15 years since Nelson Puailihau—aka Easy, aka Honeyboy—gave up his rough and rowdy ways. Three years ago, he began to tend a parcel of land near Kilohana school. From the thicket of bananas, papayas, and taro to the expansive, impeccable lawn, the “Garden of Easy” is the expression of his deep desire to bring life and beauty to the ‘aina.

“Since I got clean and sober and turned my life around,” says Puailihau. “I’ve put my heart and soul into this land.”

Once overgrown with kiawe and other invasives, it is now meticulously tended.…

Molokai Tropical Fruit Growers Awarded

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Molokai Tropical Fruit Growers Awarded

HTFG News Release 

The statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) named the recipients of its annual appreciation awards today at the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference at the Royal Kona Resort. The conference returned to an in-person format after two years of virtual gatherings due to COVID.

The annual awards honor individuals who advance—through research, education and practice—the use of tropical fruits to support a sustainable, local food industry. In addition, this year’s accolades include service awards chosen by each island chapter and “Dirty Fingers” Awards.

“The new award format is a way for each island chapter to offer recognition to one who has dedicated themselves to the HTFG mission of promoting all aspects of growing and marketing tropical fruit in Hawaii,” explained HTFG Executive Director Ken Love.…

Arce Sworn In as First County Ag Director

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Arce Sworn In as First County Ag Director

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Molokai’s Rogerene “Kali” Arce took the oath of office two weeks ago as the first director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture. A Molokai resident and Hawaiian homesteader, Arce has more than three decades of experience in Hawaii’s agriculture industry. 

“Under Kali Arce’s leadership, we are making progress toward re-establishing agriculture as a key segment of our economy,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “With support from our new Department of Agriculture, farmers are helping to provide our residents with fresh produce and higher-paying jobs, apart from the hospitality industry.”

Arce assumed her new position in July.…

Agricultural Micro Grant Available

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

MEO News Release 

Molokai farmers and ranchers have an opportunity for funding assistance. Applications for the popular Agricultural Micro Grant Program 3.0 – which offers up to $25,000 to Maui County small farmers and ranchers – will be available beginning Monday, Oct. 17.

The $3 million Maui County-funded program, administered by Maui Economic Opportunity’s Business Development Center, is open to operating farms on less than 12 acres and livestock ranches up to 40 acres possessing a county business or state general excise license as of July 1, 2022. Preference will be given to women and Native Hawaiians.

Grants may be used to directly impact the availability of locally-grown produce, livestock and poultry and other related products.…

Arce Confirmed as County’s First Ag Director

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Arce Confirmed as County’s First Ag Director

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai’s Rogerene “Kali” Arce received unanimous approval from the Maui County Council last week when she was confirmed as the first director of the new county Department of Agriculture. After an application and selection process earlier this year, she was named the appointee for the position, pending the council’s confirmation, and has already begun her role for the department, which was launched on July 1. 

“Mahalo to Councilmembers for their unanimous approval of Kali Arce. Her leadership of this important department is crucial in advancing Maui County’s self-reliance and economic diversification,” Victorino said in a press release.…

Ka‘auwai ‘Ohana Aim for Food Security

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Ka‘auwai ‘Ohana Aim for Food Security

By Paul Hanley | Community Reporter

“Our goal is to help increase our family’s and our island’s food security by inspiring others to start growing more of their own food,” says Fina Ka’auwai. Fina and her husband Wayne, who grew up living and working on farms on Molokai, are slowly increasing food production for their family of six on their one-acre plot in Ho’olehua.

In addition to hunting, fishing, and growing traditional crops, they have expanded into chickens, aquaculture, and “rainbow” fruits and vegetables. Part of their formula for success has been diversifying their diet. Their lush gardens are bursting with variety.…

BBTV Control-Prevention Workshop

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

UHCTAHR Molokai Extension News Release 

Learn about Integrated Pest Management Benefits, and diagnosis, control and prevention of Banana Bunchy Top Virus, also known as BBTV. A workshop will be hosted by the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Molokai Cooperative Extension Service. The workshop, Benefits of IPM Practices and Sustainable Strategies for Banana Bunchy Top Virus Control-Prevention, will be held at the UH Molokai Extension Farm at 652 Huaai Road (just past Kumu Farms) on Monday, Sept. 26, from 3 to 5 p.m.  

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Pest Management or IPM, is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. …

Emergency Loans for Deer Impacts

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

HDOA News Release 

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer on Maui, Molokai and Lanai). At an Aug. 23 meeting, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture (Board) approved the emergency loan program request by the Agricultural Loan Division. Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

In March 2022, Governor Ige issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maui County due to drought conditions. Supplementary proclamations have extended the relief period until Sept. 20. The emergency proclamations include provisions for relief from damages, losses and suffering caused by axis deer, which have decimated agricultural crops and pastural lands as they migrate to seek water and forage.…