Hawaii Pacific University Oceanic Institute moved closer in its plans for their new USD$5 million 'Feeds Research and Pilot Production Facility', with the filing of a draft environmental assessment.
From the document:
The Feeds Research and Pilot Production Facility (Feeds Facility) would be used to research and develop aquatic and terrestrial livestock feeds for Hawai‘i’s aquaculture and animal agriculture industries. The proposed Feeds Facility would explore the use of local ingredients and bi-products such as kukui nut, algae, coconut, as well as slaughterhouse and seafood processing wastes and other items to generate aquatic and terrestrial animal nutrition on a commercial-scale.
Beyond exploring local ingredient formulas, the proposed Feeds Facility would test production methods for commercial quantities using U.S. manufactured processing equipment. Such technology and products would also be used in demonstrations and exhibitions at the Facility. While the Feeds Facility would experiment and test the production of feeds at a “commercialscale,” it would not be a commercial facility. It would be a research facility operated by OI.
Funding for construction would primarily come from federal and state grants provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and the Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture (HDA). Due to the involvement of federal funds, this project must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Due to the use of State funding and State land, this project must also comply with HRS Chapter 343, the Hawai‘i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA).
-Draft Draft Environmental Assessment
The 'Feeds Research and Pilot Production Facility', which will be the first of its kind in the region, is planned to be constructed at Paneawa Agricultural Park in Hilo, Big Island.
The facility will be used to support the testing and evaluation of feed production for Hawaii’s aquatic and terrestrial agricultural industries on a commercial-scale. It will house a production building where testing of feed process will happen, an trailer housing an office, storage containers and an access road to the tesing site.
The total cost for the feed research and production facility is estimated to be approximately USD$5 million, with this including $3 million for construction of the facilities and USD$2 million for the machinery and equipment. The project is to be funded by the USDA, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture along with private donors.
Final design and permitting is scheduled to begin in early spring and will take six months to complete with construction of the facility expected to begin as soon as this fall.
The facility represents one of many steps towards improving Hawaii’s food self-sufficiency and food security, and with an estimated 80 percent to 90 percent reliance on imported foods, the state’s food-supply chain is vulnerable to any number of external forces with the potential to disrupt food from reaching the Islands’ shores.
In 2012, Hawaii’s farmers spent $31.7 million on feed, all of which was imported and while the planned facility would not produce feed for the commercial market, it would be a proof of concept to attract commercial mills.