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HPIA Board Minutes 8/31/18

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August 31, 2018


Meeting started at 2:30 at offices of SHAC


Attending: Eric W, Ross S, Ken O, Toshi A, Shinichi I, Peter H (via zoom)

Sharon Wages



The goal is to get a stable, consistent supply of Rainbow seed. Annual need is 3,000 ounces a year or about 800 acres at 4 ounces per acre.  Diamond Head is producing at a rate of 200 acres per year.  Ross S has begun planting and can produce approximately 200 acres per year.  This leaves a deficit of 400 acres per year.  It is ok if we produce twice that number because it can be safely stored and used as a reserve in case of natural disasters.


CITHAR has offered to produce seed on two sites on separate locations at the rate of 800 acres per year per site.  Despite serious discussions with HDOA, CITAR and the UH, no one has gotten back to HPIA to confirm if there is a plan to plant, or when it would be planted.  Eric will follow up with Kelvin Sewake to ask again that they help.


The Board unanimously approved a motion by Ross S and 2nd Ken O, to authorize any HPIA member to produce Rainbow seed provided they have been properly trained to follow the production protocol to ensure the integrity of the Rainbow cultivar and preserve the PRV protection gene.  HPIA will hold a workshop to train interested farmer members and maintain of list of all approved producers of Rainbow seed.  The price of $40 per ounce will paid by HPIA to the seed producer at time of delivery.  The grower agrees to offer for sale all seed produced first to HPIA before selling to any other party.   A seed committee consisting of Ross S, Sharon W, Eric W and Ken O was formed and their first committee meeting will be held on Friday September 7 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.


The proposal from Mel on Oahu to produce rainbow seed without hand pollination was rejected as that is not a proven reliable method to produce F1 seed.



Diamond Head papaya spent an estimated $800 on fence materials to fence their Rainbow seed production area.  DHP agreed to send HPIA receipts and photos so those expenses may be submitted for reimbursement.  Ross S shall spend up to $800 of fencing materials to be used to fence in his Rainbow seed production area.  Photos and copies of receipts need to be sent to HPIA asap.  The balance of the county grant from Council person O’hara ($2,500 less admin costs, less $1600) will be used to buy material to construct pig traps to be used by its members.



HPIA needs to continue to support adding to the HDOA loan pool so that members can obtain low cost loans to begin farming papaya again.


There has been talk about state assistance with bulldozing.  Normal bulldozing costs on lands used for papaya farming are $1,000 per acre.  The recent lava disaster in the triangle of Kapohoo to Pahoa to Kalapana means the best papaya land in the world are lost and cannot be planted for the foreseeable future.  Lands that are suitable for papaya are in short supply and have already been leased for current papaya plantings.  The industry needs help with the additional costs to clear albizia trees from land that could be used for papaya, but that wouldn’t be used for papaya if the state does not pick up that cost.  As current lands go fallow, those farmers will not have land to replant without additional lands made useable.  The HPIA has not heard from anyone at the state level if or when any assistance for bulldozing might occur.


The State assistance for Rainbow seed production was covered in its own topic area within these minutes.



The date was set for Friday afternoon, October 26 for the next annual conference.  The conference committee is Ken Ogawa, Ross Sibucao and Sharon Wages.  The concept is to have a party for grower members at location in or near Keaau.  The party will be catered and expenses paid entirely by HPIA.  The board authorizes a budget of $2,000 for this event.  Door prizes shall be solicited from businesses and individuals.  Booths or tables will be available for persons or organization interested in sharing information with the Papaya industry.


The board authorized $500 as prizes for winning contestants who submit a T-shirt design for HPIA.  The winning design will be printed on T-shirts and given away when a grower pays their annual membership to HPIA.  Only HPIA members may buy these T-shirts.



The HPIA was directed by SHAC to try different approaches what had been done in the past, as marketing efforts in Japan have not resulted in significant sales increases in that market.  As part of that directive, Suzanne at SHAC has been discussing with Sharon Hurd at HDOA a reverse trade program to include papaya and Canadian markets wanted by papaya farmers on Molokai.   This helps to leverage funds.  Sharon Hurd also has the ability to organize the event, a capability HPIA no longer has as we do not have staff.  This has been discussed at numerous meeting throughout the year.


Toshi announced that the reverse trade is a Japan driven program and that Jimmy is organizing the event for the week of October 15-19 of 2018.  Eric said it was important to communicate with all parties affected, including SHAC and DHP.  He also reiterated that those benefiting from the marketing efforts, ie companies selling to Japan, must organize the event themselves or pay for a person to organize from the budget which is just over $25K.  Eric stated that the HPIA would not pay for any items that were not reimbursable, regardless of the reason, as all expenses must be preapproved and spending guidelines strictly followed.  Eric agreed to pass the information regarding Jimmy to Suzanne and that the parties could proceed as they saw fit understanding the budget and ground rules.



The changes made to the organization and office staff this past year has translated into significant positive tangible results:

Current cash on hand is approximately $38K and $28 in accounts receivable.

We have an increase in Net Income year to date of $7,240 compared with -$12,547 for the same period last year.



Eric has spearheaded a project to make our website the single point of contact for anything Hawaii Papaya.  We now have the site hosted locally in Hilo and have the ability to edit the site ourselves.  We hired Greggor Ilagan to reorganize our site into three basic sections:




Under the grower section, one must register to use this section.  Eventually only HPIA members and researchers will be allowed in this section.  This section will have an area for:

  1. a library of all research published on Hawaii Papaya,
  2. an education section, with how to videos for growers
  3. an HPIA section with by-laws, board minutes , seed policy and ordering, membership application, etc…
  4. Grower forum, where experts and other farmers can answer growers questions.



All members have until Friday September 15 to remove any items in the HPIA office.  There are coolers, files, marketing materials and lots of other stuff.  After that date we will pay someone to take all remaining stuff to landfill



The next Board Meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 25th at 2:30 location to be determined.


Meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm