On May 24, I’ll be giving a speech in Washington, D.C . to draw attention to farming families in the developing world and the important role they play in cutting hunger and poverty. I need your help in making the case about why small farmers are so important – in fact, I want you to share your best ideas and help spread the word.
Small Farmers Are the Answer
Why farming? Many people don’t realize it, but most of the world’s poorest people are small farmers. They get their food and income farming small plots of land. These farming families often don’t have good seeds, equipment, reliable markets, or money to invest that helps them get the most out of their land. So they work hard, but they get no traction, and more often than not, they stay hungry and poor.
We know that smart investments in farming families help them become self-sufficient. We know that increasing productivity while preserving the environment leads to higher incomes and better lives over the long-term. But governments are not living up to their pledges to provide this kind of support to small farmers.
Solving hunger and poverty is both an urgent problem and long-term challenge. But what gives me hope is that we know that investments are working.
The public will have a final opportunity in late October and November to provide input into the 2009 County of Hawaii Agricultural Development Plan, being prepared for the Department of Research and Development by Agricon Hawaii LLC and The Kohala Center.
The Kohala Center is conducting islandwide listening sessions prior to finalizing the plan, which is intended to guide the revitalization of agriculture as a basis for the island’s economic development by focusing on measures designed to increase the production of food for local consumption and support the growth of export products.
The preliminary draft of the plan will be available for review by Oct. 10 at kohalacenter.org/agplan.html.
After the fall round of public sessions, The Kohala Center will incorporate public input and present the final draft to the county Department of Research and Development in early December.
In addition to attending a listening session, the public can provide suggestions and comments to Guy Kaulukukui, director of The Kohala Center’s Food Self-Reliance Program, at email@example.com or 887-6411.
The sessions are 6-8 p.m. at the following dates and locations:
Hawaii agriculture gets boost from feds
August 6, 2009
Federal lawmakers have designated more than $16 million in federal funding to improve Hawaii’s agriculture. A large part, more than $11 million, will go to research — that includes addressing Hawaii’s farming struggles, our floriculture industry and tropical fish population.
$106,000 will fund the Hawaii Plant Materials Center located on Moloka’i. The center enables the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission to reintroduce native plant species in their efforts to control invasive plants and erosion on the island of Kaho’olawe. They will also receive a portion of $376,000 to stimulate agricultural development and conservation at the local level.
Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Ag-Tourism* Report.
Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909
Hawaii?s ag-tourism valued at $38.8 million in 2006
The value of Hawaii?s ag-tourism related activities (see definition below) is pegged at $38.8 million for 2006, up 14 percent from the $33.9 million generated in 2003. There were 112 farms statewide that had ag-tourism related income during 2006, a 40 percent decrease from 2003 as fewer agricultural producers in Hawaii have opened-up their operations to visitors to the farm experience through ag-tourism activities. Interest in ag-tourism continues to be strong as 84 farms either are involved in agtourism activities in 2006, or planned to be in the future. The distribution of ag-tourism throughout Hawaii has become more concentrated during the past three years as Hawaii County now accounts for half of the farms with ag-tourism and 34 percent of the total value. Honolulu County had 12 percent of the farms and 37 percent of the total value. Kauai County accounted for 13 percent of the farms and the value was 16 percent of the total. Maui County accounted for 25 percent of the farms and was the only county showing a decline from 2003 with 13 percent of the total value.
Ag-tourism is a commercial enterprise on a working farm conducted for the enjoyment, education, and/or active involvement of the visitor, generating supplemental income for the farm. Activities such as producing and selling products directly from the farm, operating a bed and breakfast, conducting educational farm tours, offering horseback riding, festivals, concerts, and many other on-farm activities qualify as agtourism.
|Hawaii Ag-Tourism||Released: October 18, 2004|
The value of Hawaii’s ag-tourism related activities (see definition below) is pegged at $33.9 million for 2003, up 30 percent from the $26.0 million generated in 2000. There were 187 farms Statewide that had ag-tourism related income during 2003, a 48 percent increase from 2000 as more farmers in Hawaii have opened-up their operations to the public; exposing visitors to the farm experience. Interest in ag-tourism appears to be strong as an additional 145 farms either started ag-tourism activities in 2004, or planned to in the future.The distribution of ag-tourism throughout the State has become more concentrated during the past four years as Hawaii county now accounts for 48 percent of the farms with ag-tourism and 37 percent of the total value. Maui county accounted for 23 percent of the farms and 20 percent of the value. Honolulu county had 16 percent of the farms and 25 percent of the value while Kauai county accounted for the remaining 13 percent of the farms and saw a boost in value to 18 percent of the total.?
|County||Total farms||Farms with
to conduct ag-tourism
activities in the future
Ag-tourism is a commercial enterprise on a working farm conducted for the enjoyment, education, and/or active involvement of the visitor, generating supplemental income for the farm. Activities such as producing and selling products directly from the farm, operating a bed and breakfast, conducting educational farm tours, offering horseback riding, festivals, concerts, and many other on-farm activities qualify as ag-tourism.
Hawaii and Kauai counties show big gains
Compared to four years ago, the county of Hawaii increased the value of ag-tourism by 42 percent, the second largest gain among all counties. A 48 percent increase in the number of farms with ag-tourism activity contributed to Hawaii county’s rise in value. Honolulu county saw a 63 percent increase in farms with ag-tourism and an increase in value of 10 percent. Kauai county registered the largest percentage increase by nearly tripling its ag-tourism value to $5.9 million in 2003. Maui county registered the only decline in the State during this 4-year period as receipts from ag-tourism decreased from $7.3 million in 2000 to $6.8 million in 2003, a 7 percent decline.Large operations generate most of ag-tourism’s value
Farms of all sizes conducted ag-tourism activities during 2003. These ag-tourism farms ranged from those with total farm sales of less than $2,500 a year to those well over $1 million per year. Large operations ($250,000 or more in total annual farm sales), however, accounted for most of the dollar value of ag-tourism. The top 20 percent of all farms with ag-tourism generated 91 percent of the total revenue.?
Although only approximately 3 percent of all Hawaii’s farms engaged in ag-tourism during 2003, the 48 percent increase in the number of ag-tourism operations between 2000 and 2003 is evidence that many see this as an opportunity to supplement their income and manage the risks inherent in farming.
|Total value of
all farm sales
of farms 1/
|Number of farms
|Average value of
ag-tourism per farm
|Less than $2,500||1,402||49||44||898|
|$2,500 to $4,999||715||4||14||3,616|
|$5,000 to $9,999||914||15||108||7,182|
|$10,000 to $24,999||1,060||21||188||8,934|
|$25,000 to $49,999||506||22||416||18,891|
|$50,000 to $249,999||563||38||2,447||64,395|
|$250,000 to $499,999||105||7||1,298||185,429|
|$500,000 to $999,999||62||8||3,218||402,250|
|$1,000,000 or more||71||23||26,137||1,136,376|
1/ 2002 Census of Agriculture.
Sale of farm products leading source of ag-tourism income
Revenue from ag-tourism, which includes many various activities, was broken down into several categories. On-farm sales direct to farm visitors was the leading category, with $13.5 million, followed by retail sales (products from other farms or souvenir items), outdoor recreation, accommodations (bed and breakfast, meeting rooms, etc.), education, entertainment, and others.
|Item||Type of ag-tourism activity||Totals 3/|
|Outdoor recreation||Educational tourism||On-farm
1/ Products from other farms or souvenir items. 2/ Bed and breakfast, meeting rooms, etc. 3/ Unduplicated total number of farms.
Most ag-tourism operations plan to maintain or expand activities in the future
Seventy-nine percent of all ag-tourism operations in 2003 were planning to maintain or expand their operations in the future. Only 4 percent, or 8 farms, of the total indicated that they will discontinue or reduce their ag-tourism activities in the future. The 2003 Ag-tourism survey also showed that flower and/or nursery operations remained the most popular type of ag-tourism operation. Coffee and fruit farms were tied at a distant second.
|Year||Future ag-tourism plans||Total|
|Expand ag-tourism activities||Remain at
|Discontinue or reduce
|?||Number of ag-tourism farms|
|Year||Type of farm 1/||Total|
|?||Number of ag-tourism farms|
1/ A predominate commodity was designated for farms reporting more than one commodity.
– Busiest time of the year. . .slightly more than half, 51 percent, of the operations that reported ag- tourism activity in 2003 said that business was the same year round. Of the remaining responses, winter and summer were identified as the most significant peak periods, at 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Spring came in at 4 percent and fall at 2 percent.- Where do ag-tourism visitors come from?. . .mainland visitors constituted the highest percentage of ag-tourism visitors, at 53 percent, followed by Hawaii residents at 35 percent, and international visitors at 12 percent.?
– Problems faced by ag-tourism operators. . .farmers were asked to rank problems or obstacles they faced in start-up or operation of ag-tourism activities. Funding was ranked as the number one problem, followed by conflicts/interference with on-going farm activities. Marketing was the third most common problem, and liability issues and insurance was fourth. Other problems ranking in order were zoning restrictions, labor, building permits, signage restrictions and community/cultural oppositions.
– Point of sale…many operations received orders for products related to ag-tourism after the visitors returned home. Out of these, 74 percent of operations reported 0-25 percent of their sales from off-site orders, 21 percent of operations reported 26 to 50 percent, and 5 percent said that over 50 percent of their ag-tourism related sales came from off-site orders.
The Hawaii Agricultural Statistics office conducted a special survey of Hawaii’s farmers to obtain the results used in this report. We appreciate the cooperation of Hawaii’s agricultural producers who completed the survey questionnaire. A special note of thanks goes to the Agricultural Development Division of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources for their support on this project.