HONOLULU - The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is seeking taro farmers to become members of a task force that will develop recommendations and programs to help protect kalo, or taro, a crop plant that is sacred to Native Hawaiians and is being decimated by alien diseases and insects.
A recent law signed by Gov. Linda Lingle establishes the Taro Security and Purity Task Force, which will be administered by OHA. The task force will bring together farmers, Native Hawaiians and scientists to find solutions to the problems facing the crop while avoiding the divisive issue of genetic modification research.
In Maui County, OHA is seeking two kalo farmers from both Maui and Molokai to serve as members.
Be farmers actively growing kalo.
Have at least three years of kalo farming experience.
Be growing kalo on the island they seek to represent.
Be capable of participating in task force activities, including traveling to other islands to attend meetings.
Costs from task force meetings and member expenses will be covered by OHA.
The deadline to apply is Sept. 15. Applications must be written and include the applicant's full name, address, a brief description of their fulfillment of the four qualifications, what they believe they will contribute to the task force and a short list of what they believe are the most important issues facing kalo.
Applications should be submitted to Sterling Wong, OHA Native Rights, Land and Culture Division, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mail at 711 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu 96813.
For more information call 594-0248.