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Ilagan hears ag concerns at Pahoa talk story

Council member Greggor Ilagan facilitates the agriculture talk story March 22. (Photo courtesy of Greggor Ilagan)

Council member Greggor Ilagan facilitates the agriculture talk story March 22. (Photo courtesy of Greggor Ilagan)


More than 60 people gathered March 22 at the Pahoa Community Center for an agricultural talk-story session.

The Interim Dean of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM), Dr. Bruce Matthews, industry experts from the Hawaii Island Papaya Association, and County Council Member Greggor Ilagan of District 4, discussed the current state of agriculture and concerns for the future of food with the community.

The community had questions regarding issues of soil fertility, community gardening and resources available to remedy the increasing concern with food safety and sustainability.

“This right here, is what we need more of,” said Ilagan, as he facilitated communication between the community and Matthews.

“Everyone agrees; we need more collaboration, cooperation and action between the individuals in the community, agencies and schools, and the policy makers,” Ilagan said.

Also in attendance was Rep. Faye Hanohano, Eileen O’Hara, a representative from Sen. Russell Ruderman’s office, and Dennis Kauka Jr., aide to Council Member Zendo Kern of District 5.

The talk-story session was a prelude to Ilagan’s continued collaboration with community members to increase efforts and efficacy in agriculture.

“It’s our time to take action. We need to hear from the community and responsibly direct dwindling resources to the highest areas of need,” he said. “We don’t live in a bountiful economy, but we do have the land to cultivate bounty. Talents and skills exist within every individual; collectively, we can accomplish so much. Let’s work together and creatively use what we have available to address food needs in the community.”

For more information, call Ilagan’s office at 965-2712 or e-mail

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Sep 22, 2017 / 5:15 pm



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