HONOLULU — Grant funding of $1 million per year over the next three years is being made available to local farmers, ranchers and growers via a new agricultural grant program administered by the city.
The programme, originally proposed by Honolulu City Council vice chair Esther Kiaaina, draws funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and state and local fiscal recovery funds for use in supporting agriculture producers.
“I am so excited for this new city program as it helps our farmers impacted by the pandemic, promotes food security, and advances economic diversification,” Kiaaina said. “We must move beyond talking about the importance of agriculture and get our farmers and producers the necessary resources they need to increase agricultural production. I am proud of the city for partnering with our state and federal leaders in making agriculture a priority for the people of Hawaii.”
The first phase of this program will award $1 million each year in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Last year, Kiaaina introduced Resolution 21-079, which urged the city administration to establish and expend funds for a grant program to support local agriculture. An amended version was unanimously adopted by the council.
“Growing more food locally is absolutely essential to strengthening our local economy,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “These grants are vital to our strategy of creating precious sustainable jobs for our small farmers, ranchers, and growers and ensures the money stays in our local communities.”
Farmers, ranchers and growers can start preparing to apply for grants by attending an online informational briefing on May 17 or 18 at 6 pm Briefings will be live-streamed on the Facebook page of the Office of Economic Revitalization at facebook.com/oer.honolulu .
While attendance is not required to apply for a grant, briefings will help growers understand the Hawaii State tax clearances and other documents needed when applications are posted online later this year. To request translation or American Sign Language support for a webinar, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-768-2330 at least 48 hours before the online event.
Community members can sign up at oahuaggrants.org to receive an email notification when grant applications are available.
Michael Tsai covers local and state politics for Spectrum News Hawaii.