Agency grant focuses on farming

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a grant to support a series of farmer workshops later this month for Hawaiians interested in starting or expanding farming operations.

“Farming is steeped in Hawaiian tradition and was understood to be integral to the Ahupua‘a and valued for — literally — providing life to the community. It still does, yet it’s often undervalued,” says Aggie Marti-Kini, president of the Kalalea-Anehola Farmers Hui. “It’s so important to support farmers, who work tirelessly, and we are grateful for the kokua this workshop provides those who malama the aina.”

The workshops will provide opportunities for aspiring farmers and current DHHL lessees to learn about free community resources, such as grants, low-interest loans, conservation programs, training and paid internships.

There will also be time for one-on-one meetings with individual organizations to getn more information on programs. Over a dozen agencies and groups will be representing to provide resources.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about grants for farmers,” said Josh Mori, Executive Director of IWIKUA, a new nonprofit focused on wellness on the Westside.

“There’s a lot of funding out there that could help our community’s health and economy. We really need to show up and apply for it so we can start playing an active role in our kuleana and making things happen for our community.”

The workshops are set for Jan. 26 at Anahola Clubhouse and Jan. 27 at Kekaha Neighborhood Center in partnership with Malama Kauai, Kalalea-Anehola Farmers Hui, and IWIKUA.

Advanced registration is required. The $10 registration fee includes a farm-to-plate breakfast and lunch by Auntie Lorna’s ‘Ai Pono. Registration is available at MalamaKauai.org or by calling Megan Fox at (808) 828-0685 ext. 12.

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