Hawaiian Fund Dedicates Loans to Waimea Families
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has made commitments to deliver micro-farming loans to 10 families on Hawaii Island. The loans, with monthly payments of less than $100 per month, will assist families in purchasing materials to build green houses to grow food for subsistence and potentially for commercial sale. The families are enrolled in a Farming for the Working Class program created by the Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders Association (WHHA), and homestead farmer, Mike Hodson of WOW Farms.
“This is exactly the kind of program we created our Loan Fund to do,” said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA President and CEO. “Provide access to capital to families to be able to create opportunities for themselves, whether it is a farming project, or putting solar on their homes – capital is a powerful tool when used correctly.”
CNHA was able to develop a microloan program for entrepreneurs through an investment partnership with Bank of Hawaii, under a 3-year commitment of funding for loans that spur economic development and business. The Farming for the Working Class program consists of families in the Waimea region that have homestead farming land allotments under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) and want to start up a farming operation. The program includes agricultural training, fiscal management, and the full participation in constructing a green house to begin growing product. “Families are trained, hands-on, to not only build the green house but to work the green house through every stage of seeding, planting, and harvesting,” said Mike Hodson, WHHA President. “This project is about not giving up on the potential of farming in Hawaii and about growing new farmers in our region!”
Families will close on their microloans in September, and enter the Farming for Working Class program shortly thereafter. The Waimea Hawaiian Homestead Association is a member of the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly and is lead by President, Mike Hodson.
CNHA is a Hawaii-based nonprofit serving a network of more than 150 organizations across the state and nation. CNHA’s mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic and community development of Native Hawaiians. For more information about other CNHA services, please visit the website at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.