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Program Overview

The Agriculture Program provides facilitative leadership to both the public and private sectors to support the sustainable development of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, and other natural resources. Activities include financial support and coordination of agricultural research, education, and marketing programs; data collection, compilation and dissemination to County policymakers and other interested parties; management of collaborative research and development projects; advocacy for local farmers and commodity groups at State and Federal levels.


Glenn Sako, Agriculture Specialist, Telephone (808) 961-8811

Sarah Freeman, Food Access Coordinator, Telephone (808) 961-8582


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) WHIP+ Fact Sheet

The Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 authorized the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to help agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. This includes hurricane Michael, Florence, and Dorian as well as other natural disasters, such as floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity and wildfires, and related conditions. Please see the attached fact sheet for more information.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grant to Help Rural Businesses Market Value-Added Products

USDA is accepting applications for technical assistance grants to help rural businesses market valued-added agricultural products. The grants must be used to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers. 

Deadline to apply is March 20, 2020.

For more information, go to USDA  Rural Development website.

State Department of Agriculture Compost Reimbursement Program

The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture has established a compost reimbursement program for producers. Act 89 which was enacted in 2018, allocated $650,000 over a two-year period for the reimbursement of 50 percent of compost cost incurred by agricultural producers during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) and a portion of fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to March 30, 2020) not to exceed $50,000 per applicant per year. For more information including contact information and for application forms, visit the Department of Agriculture's compost program website.

State Department of Agriculture Emergency Loans

The Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture has announced the availability of disaster-related emergency low-interest agricultural loans until June 2020, for farmers suffering damage due to the current volcanic activity. The Hawai‘i Department of of Agriculture’s Agricultural Loan Division will process loan applications based on past farm production, projected cash flow and disaster recovery plans. For additional information on this disaster loan program and microloan opportunities, please see the announcement and the Agricultural Loan Division website or call Gareth Mendonsa at (808) 933-9977.

GoFarm Hawai‘i Farmer Training

GoFarm Hawai‘i is now offering farmer training workshops at The Kohala Center Farm in Honoka‘a. This series of workshops led by expert and specialist instructors and local farmers covers topics which includes:

  • Soil nutrients and plant health management
  • Propagation
  • Variety selection
  • Farm equipment
  • Irrigation
  • Pest control (pathogens, insects, nematodes, and weeds)
  • Post-harvest storage and handling
  • Food safety

For more information, contact, call (808) 956-3530 or visit

Pest Information

  • Rat Lungworm Disease: Rat lungworm is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It’s caused by a parasitic nematode that only found in rodents. Rodents pass the larvae on in their feces, and other animals (including slugs or snails) can become infected. For more information, see the following website.
  • Rat Lungworm (RLW) Rainwater Catchment Filters Information: Households in areas lacking county water must use rainwater catchment as their primary domestic water supply, for which there are no federal, state, or county guidelines or regulations. Live, infective-stage RLW larvae were able to traverse rainwater catchment polypropylene sediment filters of 20 μm (micrometer), 10 μm, 5 μm, and 1 μm filtration rating, but not a 5 μm carbon block filter. Therefore, a sediment filter and the 5 μm carbon block filter should be used in tandem. For more information, please the attached report.
  • Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Pesticide Subsidy Program: The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) established the CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program to assist Hawai‘i coffee farmers with the cost of pesticides containing the fungus known to control CBB. Applications are accepted until 6/30/2020 for purchases made from 7/1/2018 through 6/30/2019. Reimbursement is available for up to 50% of out-of-pocket costs for Beauveria bassiana products and depending on number of applicants and available funds, up to a maximum of $600 per acre and $6,000 per farm. Any applications received or postmarked after 6/30/2020 will not be eligible for reimbursement. To apply and for more information, please see the following website.
  • Little Fire Ant Management Clinics: Each month Hawai‘i Ant Lab conducts a full-day clinic for residents and other interested persons. This workshop covers ant management basics from theory to practice and includes sessions on pesticides safety, mixing and using gel baits. Space is limited to twenty (20) participants each workshop. For more information and to register, go to Hawai‘i Ant Lab
  • Coqui Frog Control: The Hawai‘i County Economic Opportunity Council is offering discounted Citric Acid to help control coqui frogs in our community. Get a voucher for a 50 lb. bag of Citric Acid for $60.00 by mail or in person at: HCEOC, 47 Rainbow Drive, Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720 (808) 961-2681, Ext. 211. See attached flyer for more information. Redeem vouchers at:
    • Nutrien Ag Solutions formerly Crop Production Services, 900 Leilani Street, Hilo, (808) 935-7191
  • Kohala Coqui Coalition: Help Keep Kohala Coqui Free! The Kohala residents has banded together to eradicate the coqui from their community. Please kokua and see how to rid the coqui from around your house from the attached video.
  • Bagrada Hilaris: Pest Advisory from the Department of Agriculture Bagrada hilaris

Reports and Publications

Information for Producers

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