Agriculture Says Aloha to Hawaiian Farmers

Hawaii’s economy heavily depends on the success of their agriculture. Raw sugar, pineapple, and molasses are the state’s primary source of income outside of tourism.

Statistics provided by the USDA

However, the recent boom of corporate farming has threatened the livelihood of smaller, local farms. Coupled with the daunting downslide of the economic collapse, native Hawaiian farmers — with crippled means — are competing for vital market space against massive corporations with mega budgets.

In a roundtable discussion with Hawaiian Business Magazine, Dean Okimoto, Naio Farms owner, and former Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation president Dean Okimoto explained the types of hurdles that native farmers currently face to compete with factory farms on the mainland: “I talked with some people about bringing back chickens [to Hawaii]. Just for the processing facility you’re looking at $30 million and you need an FDA inspector in there at all times,” said Okimoto. “That’s what makes the system not work for small farmers. Corporate farmers are the only ones that can afford this infrastructure. And that’s what we lack here in Hawaii. Agriculture is going to need that help going forward.”

To find out more about the challenges facing the Hawaiian agriculture industry, read the full article here: Agriculture says aloha to Hawaiian Farmers

2 Responses

  1. Mr Jacobson you obviously not a hunter or know anything about hunting or the animals used by Hawaiians from the time Hawaiians came to Hawaii . These animals where brought n given to the Hawaiian people for A walking food source as religious, cultural purposes n still use today as such, traditionally ,and religiously. Reasons which the state law atricle 12 sec 7 and federal laws are put in place to protect hawaiians from people like you that these rights are tied into the walking food source of the animals and land for Hawaiians of you claiming that don’t belong here. So you are above the laws put in place to protect Hawaiians ? Come on enough bs propaganda . Instead because you are thinking u are above the law ,why don’t Hawaii have a game management plan with a carrying capacity of game animals like every other state in the US ? Enough bs ,Hawaii has suffered enough from people like you .

  2. Aloha
    Unless the feds, state and county get serious about eradicating feral pigs, cattle, deer, loose dogs and other exotic species, farmers and ranchers will not be able to continue in business.

    If politicians like Yagong and others keep trying to restrict efforts to control exotic animal species in watersheds and on farms, our watersheds will dry up and farmers will face increasing losses and they will face the end to commercially viable agriculture.

    I can’t understand why politicians keep paying attention only to the misrepresentations of hunting spewed by a few hunters. Pigs became a problem only after sugar workers were forced to turn their animals loose to feed after sugar companies threatened to cut off bagasse for feed around the time of the great successful sugar strikes circa 1950.

    Farmers need to remind Yagong and others who pander to the “hunting community” that it is the farmers and fisherman and not the hunters who have traditionally fed people on this island.

    Until wild cattle became a problem in Hawaii there were very few hunters except bird trappers. Hawaii was self suffient without hunting until western contact.

    Even if all fed, state, and county lands were to become free of feral animals there will always be plenty of pigs to hunt in other forested and farm areas of Hawaii Island. We do need hunters to control invasive species but we don’t need pigs, cows, sheep, deer and other problem species destroying our crops and watershed.
    Mahalo
    Bob Jacobson Former Hawaii Coounty Councilmember 2002-2008 Puna-Ka`u-South Kona

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