Hawaii feed research, production facility to be built fall 2014

Facility will be part of University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Farm Laboratory

A recent study finds that construction of a new animal feed research and production facility could begin this fall in Hilo, Hawaii.

The Feed Research and Pilot Production Facility, which would develop feed for aquaculture and terrestrial animals, is being developed by the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University with state and federal funding.

The facility will be on a one-acre parcel at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s 110-acre Farm Laboratory in the Panaewa Agricultural Park. It will explore the use of local ingredients, including kukui nut, papaya, coconut and slaughterhouse and seafood processing byproducts. The facility also will test methods for commercial production of products.

The $5 million project, which is designed to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on imported animal feed, will be funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the state Department of Agriculture and Department of Land and Natural Resources. The study found that the state’s farmers spent $31.7 million on feed in 2012, all of it imported.