Hawaii considers growing algae from papaya for feed, fuel

Hawaii considers growing algae from papaya for feed, fuel
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Farms in Hawaii could become "zero waste" if a state-funded demonstration project proves viable.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday that the state's Agribusiness Development Corp. is proposing to build a $1.5 million facility at the Shipman Business Park that would grow algae from leftover produce, in particular, papaya. The algae could then be used for animal feed or biofuel.

Ken Nakamoto, project manager, said the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center has successfully grown algae from papaya in its lab, but the state wants to see if it could be done on a larger scale.

Nakamoto said about 35 percent of the crops farms produce are unmarketable. The hope is that this process could give them a way to make some money off what otherwise be tossed, and also make livestock feed more affordable.

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