Sustainable Agriculture

Maui is at a crossroads on a path to sustainable agriculture. Alexander and Baldwin (A&B) ended their sugar cane operations at the end of 2016. This left over 35,000 acres of agricultural land without a crop and with a world of possibility. Maui Tomorrow is interested in all ways of making our islands more sustainable. The Hawaiians had this figured out, as they lived sustainably in pre-contact times. From the mountain to the sea the land was managed in a way that would provide all that was needed and took into account generations to come.

With uncertain times facing the planet, and so much of our food and fuel coming from sources thousands of miles away that could face interruptions, it makes sense to produce as much of our food and fuel as we can locally. The opportunity created by the newly available land is truly an amazing one. The challenge we face is that A&B hasn’t accepted the idea of moving in this direction; instead, they still appear to be pursuing large-scale conventionally grown monocrops. We are trying to encourage change by exploring and publicizing other options. Also, there are now real examples of regenerative agriculture projects – Hoaloha Farms, Kumu Farms and Pacific Biodiesel – on former cane land that was previously leased by A&B. it would be really great to see a variety of similar projects started.

Maui Tomorrow funded the Mālama ʻĀina Report with the goal of generating interest in producing food and fuel with permaculture, and best practices to remove toxic chemicals from the soil and improve soil health. This study discusses well-known techniques that use locally produced fertilizer and chemical-free pest control methods to produce healthy food crops in a more profitable manner than has been the case in the past. You can view a full copy of the report at Future of Maui.

With your support, we can continue the educational process, and research and promote other ways of moving toward a more sustainable future with healthy local food and energy crops. There are many great ideas out there, and it would be wonderful if we had the resources to follow up on more of them.

Mahalo for taking the time to learn more about what Maui Tomorrow is involved with, and for caring about the future of our home, Maui.

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