In bid to support local farmers, Maui County launches its own Agriculture Department

Local farmers say it's a major step in diversifying the islands' economy.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:51 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:02 PM HST
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KULA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County is the first in the state to launch its very own Agriculture Department.

Local farmers said it’s a major step to diversifying the economy and becoming entirely self-sufficient.

“I think that’s totally possible,” said Waikapu farmer Bobby Pahia. “But, it takes political will.”

The newly formed Maui County Department of Agriculture promises to advocate for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai ranchers and farmers.

The new director from Molokai along with her deputy were introduced at a news conference in Kula Agriculture Park on Wednesday morning.

“Being in this role, I will definitely make sure that their voices are heard and that their concerns are addressed,” said Maui County Department of Agriculture Director Rogerene “Kali” Arce.

Maui residents voted for a county agriculture department during the 2020 election.

“This Department of Agriculture will be one of the most greatly looked at, watched, and probably emulated later by other counties once we show how this works,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.

The department aims to create a sustainable future for farmers so they can serve as a model for the rest of the world.

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