Doubling Local Food Production – A First Step Toward Food-Self Sufficiency
We need a real game-changer in Hawaii. We export billions of dollars to import nearly 90% of our food. This is one of the most crucial things we can change to keep money circulating locally, diversify our economy, and feed us all better. For years different local agriculture interests have fought with the state, counties, developers, gentlemen farmers, and each other while trying to pass legislation to expand our agriculture industry. Too often these efforts have stalled. We need to set a simple goal and timetable to bring everyone back to the table and make this happen.
Today, Hawaii is well on its way to a clean energy future because the state set a goal of being 70% renewable by 2030. We can do the same thing to rebuild local agriculture and make Hawaii food self-sufficient. House Bill 2703, written by a collaboration of stakeholders including myself and folks from agriculture, distribution, environmental and government sectors creates what I like to call the Hawaii Food Security Initiative – with a goal of doubling local food production by 2020. To ensure this happens, if Hawaii cannot adapt to meet this goal by 2020, approvals to rezone vast swaths of agricultural lands will be delayed until local food production reaches its target.
37 other Representatives have signed on to co-sponsor the bill, and you can follow along at the bill’s status page as we push it forward this year at the State Capitol.