Sustaining Molokai Native Hawaiian Family Farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2009: $47,420.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Alton Arakaki
UH-College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Cooperative Extension Service
Glenn Teves
UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: melons
  • Vegetables: eggplant


  • Crop Production: cover crops, crop rotation, double cropping, fallow, fertigation, irrigation, multiple cropping, organic fertilizers, application rate management, tissue analysis
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, flame, integrated pest management, mulching - plastic, sanitation, trap crops
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil microbiology, soil quality/health


    The five Native Hawaiian farmer-participants were mono-crop farmers at the beginning of the project. They produced sweet potato, watermelons or papayas as their only crop. The project provided opportunities for participating farmers to gain experience in producing other crops to diversify their business and farm's biological environment. After three years in the project, four of the five participants have moved away from having a mono-crop operation; growing and marketing alternative crops they selected to produce during the project. One of the participants chose not to begin growing his second crop until he had better control of the deer population around his field that was causing great crop damage.

    This project that utilized on-farm experiential training methods to teach crop production techniques and lessons was successful in providing participants with the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to produce more than a single crop on their farm. The community has benefited from the project, as more locally-produced fresh vegetable are now available from the participants’ farms.

    Project objectives:

    1. Plan and design five on-farm tropical sustainable demonstration family farms in month 1 of project.

    2. Order supplies for the establishment of five tropical sustainable demonstration family farms in month 2 of project.

    3. Begin installing five sustainable tropical demonstration farms.

    4. Maintain the production of diversified crops and monitor plant biological environment, beginning month 4 and through the duration of the project to month 30.

    5. Collect soil and plant tissue samples, analyze samples, conduct educational activities with producers beginning in month 4 and through the duration of the project to month 30.

    6. Conduct annual field days in project month 10, 20 and 30.

    7. Collect production and cost of production data beginning in month 4 and through the duration of the project to month 30.

    8. Prepare and publish project information as an extension bulletin and share with clientele in month 34 through month 36 of the project.

    9. Conduct project evaluation in month 34 through month 36 of the project.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.