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UH Hilo professor to address international conference in Italy

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Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

A University of Hawaii at Hilo professor of agribusiness has been selected to participate in the second USDA and AIFA2 International Conference.

Dr. Sabry Shehata will present his research paper entitled, “From Business Conceptions to The Bank: Alternative Model to Estimate the Economic Feasibility of Taro,” during the June 19-21, 2008 gathering in Bologna, Italy.

Shehata’s paper is the product of a 12-month research study which was jointly funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

His research utilized the interactive economic model he developed to estimate a project’s financial feasibility. Shehata’s program is user-friendly and provides an accurate, timely analysis by changing any or all variables, to produce different outcomes. Data on the cost of establishing a business is input into the model, which then estimates the Pro forma Income Statement, Pro forma Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement, and conducts the financial analyses needed to approve a loan. The program can also adjust to rapidly changing market conditions,such as wages. With the click of a mouse, the changes are instantly calculated, examined and reported to the user.

Shehata’s model was used to assist native Hawaiian taro growers across the State in determining the economic feasibility of farming wet land taro. One used the existing program to secure OHA financing for the acquisition of farm land, along with adjacent historical and culturally significant sites.

The model is published on the Hawaiian Agricultural Products Website. For a demonstration, visit

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