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Aina Mo Soil Amendment Project: Organic compound from biodiesel glycerin…

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
40 HOBRON AVE Kahului, HI 96732-2106
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Aina Mo Soil Amendment Project: Organic compound from biodiesel glycerin co-product to control apple snail (P. canaliculata) on wetland taro
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2011-02361
Award Amount: $460,000.00


Apple snail, (Pomacea canaliculata), a highly invasive pest affecting wetland crops in 18 countries including the U.S., is listed as one of the 100 Worst Global Invaders. One study showed that due to its voracious appetite, present value damage from the snail could cost Philippine rice production as much as 2.3 billion dollars annually. In Hawai`i, the apple snail invasion has reduced taro harvests for the small and mid-sized farms that comprise the local taro industry by 18% to 25% annually. This project will research a unique control for apple snail on Hawai`i's wetland taro production using the unrefined glycerin co-product (UCP) from biodiesel production as a soil conditioner. The research will identify a uniform product, test the product on non-target species and conduct field trials on wetland taro to determine efficacy in controlling apple snail and impacts on soil and plant health. The end goal will be to develop a marketable product that provides environmentally safe control of apple snail on taro and enhances the efficiency and profitability of small taro farms. Locally manufacturing an agricultural amendment, Aina Mo, for use in Hawaiian taro production saves energy through import substitution. Developing value-added co-products from biodiesel refining will improve profitability for the renewable fuels industry. Sustaining and increasing wetland taro production will revitalize rural areas and preserve wetland habitat. Developing a natural organic compound that effectively controls this invasive pest will preserve water quality in streams and coastal waters and has potential applications for wetland rice production and preservation of wetlands globally.

Principal Investigator:

Penny Levin

Business Contact:

M. E. O`Hara
Director of Business Development
Small Business Information at Submission:

40 HOBRON AVE Kahului, HI 96732-2106

EIN/Tax ID: 990327555
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No