Molokaʻi Farmers Get The Chance to Grow

March 1, 2020, 9:00 AM HST · Updated March 1, 7:08 PM
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Molokaʻi farmers William Kaholoa Jr (left) and Rick Tamanaha with Kohala Center representative Megan Blazak. Photo courtesy: County of Maui/Chris Sugidono

About 50 residents/farmers gathered for the inaugural Ho’opili Nā Mahiʻai (Farmers Gathering) at the Lanikeha Community Center on Molokaʻi earlier this month.

Hosted by the County of Maui, Office of Economic Development Kuha`o Business Center, the event “gave them the opportunity to discover and connect with various resources available to them,” according to a press release.

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A dozen organizations also participated in the event, including the University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Farm Service Agency, Hawai`i Agricultural Mediation Program, Molokai-Lanai Soil & Water Conservation District, The Kohala Center, Lokahi Pacific, Maui Food Technology Center, Hawaiʻi Small Business Development Center (Maui), the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Hawaiʻi Tropical Fruit Growers Molokaʻi Chapter.

“Despite the challenges of deer, transportation, and utility costs, and FSMA requirements, I encourage na mahiai of Molokai to build their capacity with the wealth of information they received from our partners,” said Stacey Crivello, Molokaʻi Community Liaison for the Office of the Mayor.

“The ample face to face time for discussion between the farmer and leaders of key organizations set up to provide direct aid to farms is both rare and vital for us here on Molokai. Very informative and allowed for connections to people and organizations that I didn’t know about prior,” Molokaʻi farmer Rick Tamanaha said.

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