Limits to Local Food Production in the Hawaiian Islands

Authors: Cissy Monroe*, University of Hawaii - Hilo
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Resources
Keywords: limits to growth, Hawaii, agriculture, energy, planetary boundaries
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Cleveland 2, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Hawai’i is located over 2,000 miles from the nearest landmass, and currently imports approximately 80% of all the food consumed on the islands. The islands’ isolation and lack of local food production are a major risk to Hawaii’s future food security. Local food production on the islands should be increased to remedy this, and several government policies have been put forward in order to begin this process. However, potential limits to increased food production due to socio-ecological factors such as natural resource availability, economics, and climate change impacts have yet to be identified. We pulled together data from various sources to assess the availability of farmland; costs of agriculture-related imports such as pesticides and fertilizers; water availability; population growth; agricultural energy, oil, and gas use; and expected climate change impacts between now and 2050. As we are still in the process of completing our analyses, results are currently pending.

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