Among his goals for Hawaii, Governor David Ige hopes to double locally produced food. Like government leaders around the world, Ige is eyeing economic, environmental, and health benefits – better markets for local producers, less shipping and distribution, and greater access to fresh, rather than processed, products.
Doubling food production within the confines of any geopolitical border is a challenge. Hawaii’s particular constraints include mountainous island counties separated by stretches of Pacific Ocean. “Hawaii has a great climate but farming is limited to valleys,” says Kyle Datta, General Partner, Ulupono Initiative. “When plantations went into decline, so did the agricultural infrastructure they left behind. Agriculture also requires a lot of water and labor. Even with technology, supplies of both are limited here.”
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