Business Report 1/8/16: What really killed sugar cultivation on - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report 1/8/16: What really killed sugar cultivation on Maui?

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Alexander & Baldwin hasn't always lost money on sugar. The Maui plantation was designed well. The mill is close to the fields and the docks are close to the mill. And this is a farming company that willingly accepted some years would be in the red, and a development company that put major acreAge into the "important ag lands" program, off-limits to development.

But A&B was still demonized for its water use and its cane fires. The impact will be greater than you've heard.

A large enterprise supports more jobs than its own. Instead of 600 jobs going away, it could be more than 1,000,some at businesses that served A&B and its workers. Now: what about this hope for more diversified agriculture where sugar used to be?

That would be great, but, Maui already has lots of unused farmland. There's no reason to assume idling yet more land will trigger demand that doesn't exist for land available today.

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