Categorized | Agriculture

Kaunamano Farms wins Mahiai Match-Up prize


Kamehameha Schools and Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation revealed the first, second and third place winners of the Mahiai Match-Up Agricultural Business Plan Contest at a recent fundraising gala at Dole Cannery’s Pomaikai Ballrooms.

Winning teams receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with up to five years of waived rent and money from Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation.

The gala was a fundraiser to raise monies for agricultural scholarships and grants to help cultivate a new generation of farmers for Hawaii.

The top three finalists presented their business plans in front of judges for the $25,000 first place, $15,000 second place and $10,000 third place prizes.

Judges included KS CEO Dee Jay Mailer; Kyle Datta, founding partner of Ulupono Initiative; Hamakua Springs Country Farms president Richard Ha; KTA Super Stores’ Executive Vice President of Store Operations Toby Taniguchi; and celebrity chef judge and owner of Town Restaurant, Ed Kenney.

Congratulations to:

First Place – $25,000

Holoholo General Store – Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business producing vegetables in the cabbage family such as kale, broccoli rabe, and broccoli. Specialty fruit trees, mainly fig trees, will also be part of the 6-acre Paalaa, Oahu farm.

Second Place – $15,000

Kaunamano Farms – Organic Berkshire piggery located on 9.5 acres in Pahoehoe, Hawaii that will implement a systems-based approach similar to Japanese methods of raising pigs.

Third Place – $10,000

Mapulehu Farms – Organic mango farm offering agricultural farms tours to teach the community about Hawaiian-based farming practices and traditional varieties native to Mapulehu, Molokai. Coconut, banana, taro, and sweet potato will also be added to the 43-acre mango orchard.

In an effort to increase Hawaii’s food production and help decrease dependency on imported foods, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation teamed up to create the first Mahiai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest hoping to attract experienced farmers with innovative ideas to grow food on vacant agricultural lands owned by Kamehameha Schools.

The opportunity attracted 148 local farmers.

“We associate food with culture and traditions that bind us together as a community,” said Keawe Liu, Executive Director of Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation. “The need to partner with others to increase local food production for a sustainable Hawaii is essential. What better way to support this idea than by supporting local farmers, whose caring hands work to produce the foods that bring us together.”

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