Hawaii is nearly totally dependent upon food produced from out of state. On the one hand there are many studies and encouragement to make Hawaii self sufficient in food production. On the other we have immense political pressure to convert prime agricultural lands to house lots. DR Horton will build 11,750 homes on prime agricultural land. The Honolulu city Council voted 9-0 in favor of the Ewa development. What does that bode for the future of food sustainability in Hawaii?
Hawaii produces only 10 to 15 percent of its food. In spite of all the studies and recommendations we continue to remove ag land from the equation. Between 1960 and 2005, farm land in Hawaii shrank from 2.6 to 1.3 million acres. The trend is a warning sign. This is a clear indication that we are on a path to a dependency on the transportation system to feed Hawaii. Strikes and natural disasters can virtually shut off our supply. And, the “just in time” delivery system has sharply reduced the merchants’ need for warehouses, so now, if shipping to the state were to be suddenly cut off, the stock of food would last no more than a few days.
With these facts in mind one can wonder why the developers can get unanimous approval for projects which increase our vulnerability to food crises.