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Hawaii households eligible for up to $5,000 in small-scale farming grants

Hawaii households in food-insecure areas now are eligible for grants up to $5,000 for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations.

The Micro-Grants for Food Security Program is now in its second year and is accepting grant applications, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

Projects that might be eligible for a grant include purchasing equipment, soil, seeds, plants and refrigeration for small-scale farming or purchasing animals and constructing or repairing fencing for livestock.

The MGFSP application on the DOA’s website also notes costs from canning setups and jars, hydroponic systems, traveling to participate in agricultural education and shipping as possible expenses that can be covered by the grant.

In 2021, 177 grants were awarded statewide, the agricultural department reported.

“Since the department received a great amount of interest last year from home gardeners and small-scale farmers, the department has streamlined the application process and will focus on supporting households so they may grow their own food for their families,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chair of the state Board of Agriculture, in a statement.

Last year, organizations were also eligible for the program, but the DOA said that due to the high interest by individuals, this year only individuals will be eligible for the grants.

The deadline to apply for the grant is noon on Sept. 19.

The DOA is holding a Zoom meeting at noon on Wednesday to assist interested parties with the application process.

More information can be found on the DOA’s Market Development Branch website, at hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/. The branch can also be reached by phone at 808-973-9595 or by email at hdoa.md.microgrants@hawaii.gov.

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