Path to isle food security is to create local demand

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 09, 2011

Editor’s note: This piece was signed by the 15 agricultural industry groups listed at the end.

Hawaii’s reliance upon imports is not the fault of individuals or institutions but the result of economic forces. In seeking to find alternatives to this reliance, we must bear in mind that agriculture is a diverse industry, which is a strength. Farmers, ranchers and aquaculturists are free to choose the methods and crops that best fit their visions and values, and the land, water and markets available to them.

Farmers and ranchers get up every morning and get to work: dirt under our fingernails, sun on our backs, mud beneath our boots. But also we do logistical, engineering, mechanical, accounting and marketing work. We do what’s necessary to produce the food, flowers and foliage that we all enjoy.

Our livelihoods depend upon knowing about hydrological and nutrient cycles. We construct and maintain drainage systems that enhance watersheds, reduce run-off and preserve soil. We preserve the pastoral vistas that are a treasured part of our island landscape.

We, too, need to eat. We need to feed our families, educate our keiki, care for our kupuna, maintain our homes and equipment and invest in our communities. We must earn a living. If we can’t survive, we won’t.

Government is an important partner in the advancement of our common goal of a sustainable Hawaii. You have the power, and a duty, to hold it accountable.

This was co-signed by: the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii, Aquaculture & Aquaponics Association, Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, Hawaii Beekeepers Association, Hawaii Biofuels Foundation, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Hawaii Coffee Association, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association, Hawaii Florists & Shippers Association, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii and University of Hawaii-College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Contributed by Staradvertiser.

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