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Mahi Pono’s ag park now accepting applications for community farming

By Staff | Aug 8, 2019

Mahi Pono Advisory Board members include (from left): Robert “Uncle Bobby” Pahia, Ryan Earehart, James “Kimo” Falconer and Vincent Mina. PHOTO BY MAHI PONO.

KAHULUI – Mahi Pono LLC announced that applications are now available for Hawaii residents and small local businesses interested in applying for a two-, five- or ten-acre parcels at its agriculture park.

The first phase of the community farm available for lease will only include two- and five- acre lots on 40 acres of land in a 250-acre field in Puunene along Maui Veterans Highway.

These lots can only be used for farming activities.

“As we work to return the land back to active agriculture production, providing an ag park for community farming has been an essential part of Mahi Pono’s long-term plans,” said Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations for Mahi Pono.

“Increasing local food production and achieving food security is essential to Maui and our state. The ag park will provide small local farmers the opportunity to grow a variety of crops and bring them to market as well as value-added food products for export.”

Future leases will be available on three additional identified plots and will include five- and ten-acre parcels intended for business use while the two-acre parcels are available for subsistence farming.

The lease rates for lots will be $150 per acre, per year for the duration of the lease.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and Hawaii resident for three or more years.

“The ag park parcels are ready to farm and have access to irrigation, windbreaks and ungulate fencing around the perimeter of the fields. It may be an ambitious goal, but we hope to have the leases executed as soon as possible and have the first local farmers on the land before the end of this year,” added Tsutsui

Applications are now available at MahiPono.com; they can either be downloaded or filled out online and submitted electronically.

The completed (downloaded) application must be returned via e-mail to info@mahipono.com or mailed to Mahi Pono, One Main Plaza, Suite 405, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and reviewed as they are received.

Mahi Pono’s Community Advisory Board, chaired by Robert “Uncle Bobby” Pahia, owner of Hoaloha Farms; and members Vincent Mina, president of the Hawaii Farmers Union United, Maui County representative on the Hawaii State Board of Agriculture and owner of Kahanu ‘?ina Greens LLC; James “Kimo” Falconer, owner of MauiGrown Coffee; and Ryan Earehart, owner of Oko’a Organic Farm, will review applications and provide recommendations on farmers and crops that best fit the agricultural needs of the island.