Hawaii County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study Receives Award

The Hawai’i County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline study received a 2012 Planning Award from the American Planning Association, Hawai’i Chapter at the recent Hawai’i Congress of Planning Officials annual conference in Honolulu.

The Hawai‘i Island Food Self-Sufficiency Scorecard shows the percentages of locally produced food consumed in 2012, part of the award-winning Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study.

The report was produced for the Department of Research and Development by the University of Hawai’i Geography Department and Jeffrey Melrose of Island Planning.  The award was given in the category of Innovations for Sustaining Places.

The Baseline study was a recommendation of the Hawai’i County Agricultural Development Plan that was adopted in 2010.  It provided a summary of the current state of local food production and import data for Hawai’i County. The baseline study also produced detailed maps of existing agricultural activity on the island as a way to measure current farm activity, and to distinguish the unique circumstances that drive farming in each region around the island.  The report also provided a list of 100 Things to Do to Increase Food Self-Sufficiency on the island.  This list emphasizes the need for everyone, from consumers and government to farmers and retailers to be involved in the process for increasing food self reliance.

The APA Awards Jury selected this study for recognition because “… it provides important baseline data for measuring food production and consumption and agricultural activity as a basis for monitoring food self-sufficiency in Hawai’i County”. The Award Committee found the work innovative, including “the creation of a self-sufficiency scorecard and maps depicting agricultural activity throughout the County.  Information on area specific food production is particularly useful. The development of key metrics related to production and consumption is particularly useful and many of the concepts, tools, and findings are transferable to other communities.  The study provides a good foundation for future action affecting agriculture in Hawai’i.”

Department of Research and Development Director Randy Kurohara said that “the baseline study is an important tool for improving the quality of conversation we have about the future of Hawaii Island’s food self-reliance, and it makes some very useful suggestions about the role that everyone has to play in this process.  Dr. Tim Richards of Kahua Ranch and the Hawai’i Cattlemen’s Association said that the “Baseline Study is a defining piece on agriculture on Hawai’i Island and is the envy of others around the state.”

A link to the Study and many of its maps and graphics is available on the web at HawaiiCounty.gov under the Announcement section.

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