Monday, January 18, 2016

Ag Taking Some Hits In Hawaii

This past week there has been doom & gloom talk-story among the local ag folks over the recent ag announcements.....
....The giant (and the last) sugar plantation in Hawaii is shutting down its sugar cane production and processing by the end of this year. So if you like the idea of using local sugar, you had better stock up.
....Richard Ha is shutting down his big banana producing farm on Big Island citing anticipated future energy related increased costs. 
....The Ka'u coffee farmers have been offered new leases but at an incredible increase in expense. 
....A number of Ka'u ag farms have had to cutback production for various reasons. 
.....A number of ag businesses through out the state have shut down due to escalating fertilizer & feed expenses, increased rents and government related costs, and introduced disease and pest issues. 
....The major taro lands of a Waipio Valley have been put on the market for sale. Dozens of taro farms are in jeopardy. 
....the most significant botanical garden on my island has also been put up for sale. No one knows what the future holds for the gardens, the home of a vast array of Hawaiian plants, the source for plant keikis for gardeners around here, and the venue of multiple Hawaiian culture and growing events through out the year.

It seems that 2016 is not starting out to be very ag friendly. 

So I must be crazy to think that this year I'm going to develop a farm income. Egads. I guess I'm just bucking the traffic once again. 


  1. This just shows that local people have to step up and fill the gaps. If enough people start family businesses for growing food it may actually be a really good thing. More diversity. More control over process. Like this guy I follow says (saddleback mountain farm) "small farms matter big".

  2. Auwe! So sad to see so much pilikia! If Hawaii realigned its priorities to develop workfare instead of welfare, with integrated cooperative farming and ranch management, using sound sustainable organic principles, exploiting the energy so abundant from the sun, wind and seas, it still would fail unless the economic stranglehold of the Jones Act could be overturned. Sadly, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and American Samoa lack any political clout to rescind that archaic piece of protectionism.