The U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will focus on small- and medium-sized producers.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture will administer $2.6 million in federal grants to help bolster the state food system’s supply chain.

The competitive grants will be focused on the middle of the supply chain, to fund food processing and manufacturing.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced the partnership with the state DOA under its Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program, which has a $420 million pot created as part of the American Rescue Plan.

DOA Director Sharon Hurd said the funding would help increase the supply of local food in Hawaii.

The state has long held goals of increasing local food production and resuscitating the agricultural economy after sugar and pineapple plantations stopped operating in Hawaii, leaving gaps in the supply chain.

  • ‘Hawaii Grown’ Special Series

“For decades, a major challenge that has hampered the growth of agriculture in Hawaii is the lack of processing facilities which can add significant value to the commodities we grow and raise,” Hurd said in a press release.

“This partnership between USDA and the State of Hawaii is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt.

The DOA will take applications until Feb. 19. The USDA encouraged applications that served smaller farms and ranches, new farmers and ranchers, underserved and veteran producers, and underserved communities.

“Hawaii Grown” is funded in part by grants from Ulupono Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Frost Family Foundation.

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