Speaker: Kawika Burgess
After more than 100 years of large-scale monocrop (sugar and pineapple) agriculture in Hawai‘i, much of our agricultural lands are now fallow. The once fertile lands are being converted to gentlemen estates and urban sprawl, and zoned for non-agricultural and unsustainable uses. Hawai‘i imports over 85–90% of its food and other necessities and is almost completely dependent on tourism and military spending. However, just a few generations ago, Hawai‘i was completely self-sufficient, producing 100% of its food, fuel, and fiber. Our ancestors created some of the most innovative, adaptive, and efficient agricultural systems in the world. Today, efforts are being made to reshape and revitalize Hawai‘i’s agriculture through regenerative and vertically integrated models. Kalona Brand Company and a growing number of Hawai‘i enterprises are working to grow unique and niche crops, implement regenerative practices, and create value added food and agricultural products. Come and learn about these efforts and discuss how revitalized and sustainable agricultural industry in Hawai‘i can diversify our economy, create rural economic development, support sustainable land use practices, increase local production of food, fiber and other agricultural products, and keep Hawai‘i’s agricultural lands used exclusively for agriculture.