Kalo, a crop plant sacred to Native Hawaiians, has been heavily impacted by pests and diseases, flooding, drought, lack of stream water, land, and a new generation of growers. Since 2010, the aim of the task force has been to bring together taro stakeholder groups and potential partners, including taro farmers, Native Hawaiians, agencies and scientists, to implement the recommendations of its 2010 Report to the Legislature.
The task force includes two farmers from Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui, Moloka'i and the Big Island, one taro farmer from Lana’i, as well as one representative from OHA, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, the State Department of Agriculture, the University of Hawai'i, the Hawai'i Farm Bureau Federation, Onipa’a Na Hui Kalo, a statewide organization of taro farmers, and a representative for the taro collections and botanical gardens.
One seat is open for Kaua'i. Interested applicants must meet the following qualifications:
- Actively growing taro on the island they seek to represent;
- Have a minimum of three years experience in taro production; and,
- Be capable participating in task force activities, including traveling to other islands to attend regular meetings and sharing information throughout the taro farming communities of their island.
The task force will select the best qualified applicants to serve as representatives. Member travel for kalo farmer representatives will be covered by a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Applications must include the applicant’s full name, address and contact information, a brief description of their fulfillment of the required qualifications, what they believe they will be able to contribute to the task force, and a short list of what they believe are the most important problems facing kalo. Please submit applications to the Taro Security and Purity Task Force c/o E kupaku ka ‘aina, 224 Ainahou Place, Wailuku, HI 96793 or by email to email@example.com by April 30, 2012. For more information contact Hiʻilani Shibata 808-371-0452 or tarotaskforceHI@gmail.com.
The Taro Security and Purity Task Force was created by Act 211, Session Laws of Hawaii in July 2008.