Three grants totaling $545,000 to support Maui Kalo farmers, agriculture and food security

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Kalo farming. (7.20.18) PC: Wendy Osher

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced the awarding of three Maui County grants totaling $545,000 to three nonprofit organizations to support kalo farmers, agriculture, youth development, family services and food security.

“These grants to Maui United Way, the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and BioBamboo Inc., doing business as Food Security Hawaiʻi, represent further progress on our path to recovery,” Mayor Victorino said in a county news release. . “By investing in agriculture, workforce development and indigenous farming, we are creating a stronger local, green economy with well-paying jobs that support residents and their families.”

United Way Maui received a $360,000 grant for its Maui Foster Farm project, also called Hawaiʻi Taro Farm, LLC: A Proposed Model for Agriculture Development.

“This project helps small family taro farmers build their financial and production capacity to feed residents and create a variety of new agricultural jobs, including agronomists and food and soil scientists,” Mayor Victorino said.

The University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources received a $150,000 grant to help 32 families in Hāna, Lānaʻi and Kula who plant, cultivate, harvest and prepare food for their gardens. The college curriculum includes seed saving, composting, and other strategies to reduce gardening costs and help develop self-sufficiency.

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“We cannot ignore the great potential of growing, harvesting and selling food from our own backyards,” said Mayor Victorino. “Our residents benefit from the income generated by the sale of local products and healthy, plant-rich food.”

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BioBamboo Inc., doing business as Food Security Hawaiʻi, received a $35,000 grant for his ʻOhana Gardens project. This initiative supports Hawaiian food security and agriculture and develops residents’ skills to prepare healthy foods, compost, save seeds, grow orchards, and save money on food purchases.

For more information on grants, visit the Office of Economic Development website at https://www.mauicounty.gov/141/Office-Of-Economic-Development or call the office at 808-270-7710.

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