OHA awards $329,000 to 9 projects
Grants meant to improve the lives and economic development of native Hawaiians are being handed out by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
OHA announced last week that it awarded $329,000 in community grants to nine projects.
The Community-Based Economic Development grants aim to help native Hawaiians achieve self-sufficiency by strengthening leadership abilities, job skills and financial literacy.
The programs provide job training, opportunities for individuals emerging from correctional facilities, assistance to entrepreneurs and help to homeless families.
The money goes to Ali’i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club, WorkNet Inc., Mana Maoli, SCORE Hawaii, Kula no na Po’e Hawai’i, Alternative Structures International, Women in Need, Family Promise of Hawaii and Corvette Center Ministries.
Turkey season opens
The spring bearded turkey hunting season on the Big Island begins Tuesday and will run 31 consecutive days through March 31. Tags are required. Visit hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw or call the Division of Forestry & Wildlife offices at 974-4221 in Hilo, 887-6063 in Waimea or 587-0166 in Honolulu.
Hilo scientists recognized for ag study
Federal agriculture researchers in Hilo have received a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for developing irradiation protocols against pests that helped Hawaii growers preserve their crops for export.
The researchers are now working on lowering irradiation levels to save even more crops and increase sales for Hawaii growers.
Quarantine restrictions once cost Hawaii produce growers an estimated $300 million annually in lost sales until entomologist Peter Follett and food technologist Marisa Wall — both of the Agricultural Research Service’s U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo — became the first to apply generic irradiation protocols to control insect pests on fresh produce grown in the islands, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Follett found that a generic dose of 150 grays (Gy) of radiation controls three species of tephritid fruit flies found in Hawaii — while a generic dose of 400 Gy works well against many other pests.
Wall then tested the fruit to measure the effects of irradiation and also replicated shipping and storage conditions to see whether consumers on the mainland received a "high-quality product," according to the USDA.
She found that different varieties of fruits and vegetables react differently to the same doses.
Follett is now working on lower doses of radiation that would be less damaging to Hawaii-grown fruits and vegetables while still controlling pests. And Wall is studying how mixing different irradiated fruits and vegetables affects them during shipment.
Currently, 15 million to 20 million pounds of Hawaii fruits and vegetables are irradiated annually.