21 Molokai farms obtain agricultural micro-grants


MEO press release

Maui County’s $ 2.5 million agricultural micro-grant program, administered by Maui Economic Opportunity, purchased tractors, chippers and other supplies; install fences and sheds; and established an online presence for 105 small farms in the county – including 21 farms in Molokai.

As the program draws to a close, MEO Business Center director David Daly said on Monday (March 22) that his team was working to put the finishing touches on the last two grants and the program.

The Farm Micro-Grants Program was created to enable small farms in Maui County to receive grants – up to $ 25,000 – that directly increase the availability of local produce, livestock, poultry, and all agricultural produce. by increasing agricultural capacity, productivity, awareness and income.

Payments were made directly to the suppliers. Daly noted that vendors have been paid but some farmers have yet to receive equipment or materials due to manufacturing shortages and weather issues.

The money was used for agricultural machinery and equipment; processing and storage equipment; expansion of the farm, such as fences and sheds; supplies, including fertilizers, soil amendments, seeds, plants and small tools; wrapping and packaging materials; technological equipment; marketing supplies and services, including website development; health and safety improvements; and professional development and education.

MEO’s Business Development Center received more than 220 applications from October to January. The 105 grants included farms producing fruits, vegetables, aquaponics, livestock, herbs, native Hawaiian plants and medicinal plants, Daly said.

There is a waiting list of more than 80 applicants, including six on Molokai, Daly said.

MEO is directing farmers to a Hawaii Department of Agriculture micro-grant program for small-scale farming. The $ 1.9 million food security micro-grant program provides up to $ 5,000 to support small-scale gardening, ranching and ranching operations.

Applications can be found at hands.ehawaii.gov/hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/20023. The deadline for submitting completed forms to [email protected] is April 23 at noon. Prices are expected to be announced in May, with the first disbursement of funds expected in July.

For more information, contact the Market Development Branch of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture by phone at (808) 973-9595 or by email at [email protected]

MEO has a long-standing relationship with Maui County farmers, having managed the Hawaii National Farm Worker Employment Program and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Daly said.

For more information on business planning and the microloans offered by MEO, contact the Business Development Center at (808) 553-3270 by phone or at [email protected] by email.

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