Ulupono Initiative

Mahiai Match-Up

Promotes sustainable agriculture through the leasing of critical agricultural lands and identifying innovative farmers.

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Background

With a small footprint and limited space, one of the biggest challenges for Hawaii’s agricultural industry is the availability of land for farming. Kamehameha Schools (KS) owns some of the most fertile and valuable agricultural land in the state. As part of its ongoing effort to lease those lands to talented farmers, KS created an innovative competition called Mahiai Match-Up to identify farmers, provide access to and leasehold interest in some of KS’s most valuable agricultural lands, and expand Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation’s role in and support for Hawaii’s sustainable agriculture community.

Since its inception in 2013, the annual Mahiai Match-Up contest is open to farmers, aspiring farmers and other agricultural producers including ranching, fishery and nursery proprietors interested in growing food in Hawaii. Winning teams receive an agricultural lease for up to five years of waived rent from KS and a prize pool totaling $50,000 in business start-up money from the Pauahi Foundation to increase long-term chances of a sustainable success.

The winners from the 2013 Mahiai Match-Up were Holoholo General Store, Kaunamano Farms and Mapulehu Farms. Winners from the 2014 competition are Mala Kaluulu and Counter Culture Foods.

Why We Invested

Ulupono Initiative supported the Mahiai Match-Up competition in 2013 and 2014. Its mission to promote sustainable agriculture through the leasing of critical agricultural lands and identifying innovative farmers is aligned with our own goal for more local food production in Hawaii.

Impact

  • Promotes sustainable agriculture
  • Agricultural lease for up to five years of waived rent
  • Increase long-term chances of a sustainable success

At a Glance

 
Investment Area
Food
Investment Model
Social
Website
Pauahi.org/MahiaiMatchUp