“The State shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands.”

- The Constitution of the State of Hawai‘i, Article XI, Section 3


For much of Hawai‘i’s history, agriculture has played a dominant role in sustaining and shaping local communities, both economically and socially – so much so that agriculture is embodied in the Hawai‘i State Constitution, which calls for its protection and promotion.


Around 1000 to 1200 A.D., Polynesian voyagers arrived in the Hawaiian Islands, bringing with them precious edible and medicinal cargo including kalo (taro), ‘ulu (breadfruit), ‘uala (sweet potato), (ti), pua‘a (pigs), and moa (chickens). These “canoe plants” and animals were important to establishing and growing their new communities, and a number of varieties continues to be grown and raised in the islands.


In the 1800s, commercial agricultural operations – including cattle, coffee, sugar and pineapple – became the primary economic drivers for the islands, not only creating jobs and commercial activity but also providing for housing, infrastructure and community services, and shaping the islands’ diverse multiethnic heritage.


During the 1960s, tourism overtook agriculture as Hawaii’s top industry, and over time, large-scale sugar and pineapple businesses gradually contracted or ceased operations altogether. Nonetheless, agriculture continues to remain vital to the County of Maui as a source of diverse job opportunities, tax revenue, local food production, biosecurity, preservation of open space, and increased food security and sustainability.


Today, Maui County’s agricultural sector continues to evolve in new ways. Diversified agriculture, seed crops, aquaculture, hydroponics, canoe plants, farm-to-table pathways, and new products derived from local agricultural goods are among the many active elements within Maui Nui’s agricultural sector.


We invite you to discover the many ways to experience our local agricultural goods, and learn more about the resources and support programs available to agricultural producers in Maui Nui.


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