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.