HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite poor growing weather and a slow economy, Hawaii banana production rose six percent last year and prices at the farm level rose 20 percent, making local bananas a $10 million business. Local banana production is more than 18 million pounds a year. But the United States imports seven trillion pounds of bananas annually. More than three quarters of them come from two countries, Guatemala and Ecuador.
Taro for poi production is coming in below 300,000 pounds a month so far this year. It's down a little from last year, perhaps three percent. Hawaii commercial guava production is down 40 percent, the lowest output since 1976. American imports most guavas from Brazil.
Governor Lingle has signed a new law that appears to close a tax loophole. It forbids claiming an excise tax exemption unless you have an excise tax license. And it requires that excise tax you collect must be handed over to the state.
Hawaiian Airlines says that new airbus jet, the second one delivered, has been name Makalii, after the pleides, a constellation used for navigation by the ancient Hawaiians. All the airbus fleet will be named after stars.