Kamehameha Schools News Release
In an effort to increase Hawaii’s food production and help decrease dependency on imported foods, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation teamed up to create an agricultural business plan contest. The first Mahi`ai Match-Up hoped to attract experienced farmers with innovative ideas to grow food on vacant agricultural lands owned by Kamehameha Schools. The opportunity attracted 148 local farmers.
The organizations recently announced the first, second and third place winners of the contest with Molokai’s Mapulehu Farms placing third. Winning teams receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with up to five years of waived rent and money from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation. The gala, where the winners were announced, 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. Oahu’s Holoholo General Store, specializing in Community Supported Agriculture, came in first, and organic piggery Kaunamano Farms on Hawaii Island placed second.
Mapulehu Farms is an 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.
“We associate food with culture and traditions that bind us together as a community,” said Keawe Liu, Executive Director of Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation. “The need to partner with others to increase local food production for a sustainable Hawaii is essential.”
For more information regarding Kamehameha Schools partnering with others for a sustainable Hawaii, visit ksbe.edu/land.