The Hawai‘i Island Agriculture Partnership, or HIAP, was created to be a platform for collective action for local agricultural development. Many farms, government agencies and non-profits are working hard for Hawai‘i Island agriculture. HIAP strives to connect their efforts and help them to work together in ways that build collective impact.
As an organization, HIAP is structured to be formal enough to provide direction and advocacy, but is also created to allow space for smaller action teams to form around specific issues or opportunities. If you are interested in taking action to support Hawai‘i Island agriculture, please contact us!
Opportunities to Grow
On April 26, 2019, agricultural business leaders, representing a cross-section of the industry from Hawai‘i Island, came together to identify opportunities and actions needed to promote the growth of their sector. They identified the following:
Growing markets, including growth of opportunities to feed local consumers locally-produced food, expand global markets for “Hawai‘i Island brand” products, increase markets for value-added products, open up markets for new crops made possible by the year-round growing season, and add ag-tourism as a revenue stream.
Wider application of new technologies and approaches, including greater use of computer technologies and robotics, and new economies of scale and professional capacities around food safety, processing, and aggregation.
Distinctive local assets, including a good climate to grow a wide variety of crops and a great location for expanding ag-tourism.
Overall, industry participants identified a set of market and technology forces, and local assets, that could drive growth and competitiveness of the industry in the future—under the right conditions.
Shared Strategies and Projects to Drive Growth
The HIAP system study used a participatory process of shared system analysis to identify a set of recommended actions to be pursued by its action teams to overcome the constraints identified in the system study. Those recommended actions were compiled into three key strategies which HIAP’s members have jointly agreed to pursue:
A value chain development strategy intends to increase opportunities to add value to local products, as well as increase local production through the establishment of a coordinated network of aggregation, storage and processing facilities intended to improve the capacity and efficiency of the island’s agricultural value chains.
A market development strategy intends to identify and build market demand for local products, improve the linkages between supply and demand within agricultural market systems, and identify new opportunities for growing domestic and export sales.
An agriculture workforce development strategy intends to improve agricultural training and education using a public-private collaboration with educators, training service providers and local agribusinesses to ensure training meets local needs. The strategy also seeks to facilitate entrepreneurship development and the establishment of more effective mechanisms for farms to recruit quality labor.
Aligning and integrating the above strategies will enable HIAP to collectively transform the island’s agricultural market systems to be more conducive for inclusive growth and increased viability of small farms.