Op-Ed: Mahi Pono Bringing Sustainable Ag to Maui
December marked one-year since Mahi Pono was established to return active agriculture production to Central Maui. During our first 12 months, we have cleared thousands of acres of former sugarcane land and planted new crops – potatoes, citrus trees, papayas and onions. And in 2020, we are scheduled to plant coffee, citrus varieties, papaya and ulu, totaling approximately 700,000 trees.
We marked the start of the new year by donating nearly 30,000 pounds of potatoes from our first test harvest to the Hawaiʻi Foodbank that’s being shared with local families in need. The potatoes have grown and adapted well to Maui’s soil and climate, and we anticipate that the crop will yield an estimated 50,000 pounds per week which will significantly reduce the need for imported potatoes from the mainland. Residents will soon start seeing locally grown potatoes in retail stores and restaurants on Maui and eventually, across the state.