The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it is accepting applications for lease negotiations on five parcels of ag land.
Two parcels are located in Hanapepe, Kauai, and three are in Waimanalo, Oahu. They range in size from 1.4 to 6.7 acres.
Potential lessees must be U.S. citizens who have been Hawaii residents for at least three years, and bona fide farmers as defined in Hawaii Administrative Rules.
The leases are for 35-year terms and are limited to diversified agriculture use.
The deadline to submit applications for the parcels to the state’s Agricultural Resource Management Division is Jan. 14.
For more information, visit hawaii.gov/hdoa/info.
Pacific Business News – Nearly 27,000 acres of land on Maui was recently designated for agricultural use. The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture and Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) announced the designation of land for preservation and protection. The state’s Land Use Commission (LUC) approved A&B’s request to protect the Upcountry and Central Maui land as “important Agricultural Lands.” LUC also approved A&B’s request to designate 3,700 acres on Kaua‘i. In 2008, Act 233 was passed with such incentives as “tax credits, loan guarantees and expedited regulatory processing,” to encourage farmers and landowners to delegate lands for agriculture.
Hawaii’s agricultural work force totaled 6,100 in July, according to a new report.
The work force reported for the week of July 12-18 was unchanged compared with the survey week in April, but down 2 percent from last July, the National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office said Monday.
Pineapple and sugar cane workers totaled 900, down 22 percent from the same period a year ago, the result of layoffs at Maui Land & Pineapple and Gay & Robinson on Kauai.
Maui Land & Pineapple laid off 204 workers in July 2008, and Gay & Robinson ended its sugar cane operations in September 2008.
Hawaii’s total farm work force — which includes self-employed farm operators and unpaid workers such as family members and others working 15 hours or more per week — totaled 10,400 workers for the survey week, down 1 percent from a year ago.
The average wage paid to all hired workers during the survey week was estimated at $13.97 per hour, 5 percent higher than a year ago.
Hawaii farms employing one to nine workers paid an average of $12.50 per hour. The combined average wage for field and livestock workers was $11.40 an hour.
As Hawaii’s agricultural industry continues to decline, a sub-industry is growing in size and work force.
The state’s seed crop industry hit $146 million in value for the 2007-2008 season, surpassing pineapple and sugar, crops that were once Hawaii’s agricultural staples.
The seed crop industry’s value has grown at an average annual rate of 33 percent over the past five years. It makes up about 30 percent of the total value of all crops produced in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.
The trade group commissioned a study earlier this month to gauge the economic impact of Hawaii’s seed crop industry. The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation performed the study using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – 9:28 AM HAST Wednesday, June 13, 2007
by Howard Dicus
The Maui Department of Water Supply has declared a drought in Upcountry Maui, imposing mandatory water restrictions, while dry conditions are getting worse on the Big Island.
Maui officials Tuesday imposed 10 percent water restrictions on nonagricultural users in Haiku, Haliimaile, Kanaio, Keokea, Kula, Makawao, Olinda, Omaopio, Pukalani, Pulehu, Ulupalakua, and Waiohuli, but gave farmers 30 days grace.