From our farms to your table – a new era for Maui Ag
For over 1,000 years, the Hawaiian people produced enough food to support an estimated population of one million. Today, we only support 10-15% of the food we consume, with the vast majority of our food imported from miles away. This is an embarrassment and is completely unacceptable.
Upcountry Maui is positioned to become the answer to our food security issues, while providing fresher and more nutritious foods that enhance the overall health of our families.
Organic and sustainable farmers who are stewarding our lands , feeding our communities, and contributing to our health and wellness should be given priority when it comes to access to prime farmland and limited water resources. In creating incentives and credits for our small-scale diversified farms, we will encourage local farming. We can use local foods where possible in school lunches and state and county contracts to utilize food in programs it sponsors. We can design policies that promote the recruitment of new farmers by providing access to appropriate lands that can be farmed in environmentally friendly ways.
With smart planning, we will provide the infrastructure needed to support the growth of smaller scale and decentralized farming by family farmers, while making our families healthier and more connected to their local farmer.
Hawaiians historically have lived in harmony with the land, while providing abundant food crops for the people. I will be a strong advocate for Hawaiian farmers, especially those that grow taro, which will in turn enhance the overall sustainability of local food production and security. We can protect the entire infrastructure needed to grow taro in its traditional way, which simultaneously enhances the environmental and cultural resources, providing adequate stream flow left free of pollution.
A NOTE ON THE USE OF PESTICIDES:
Our communities look to government leadership as legal guardians of their health and welfare. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that we pass legislation to regulate the use of pesticides and any toxic chemical farming additives - especially around schools, parks, and watershed areas. In the face of big development and large agribusiness interests, Maui needs stronger advocacy for agricultural viability and land stewardship. I will be that advocate.