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Agriculture is deeply rooted in Maui history and will continue to be an important industry from an economic, social, and environmental perspective. Although the face of Maui agriculture has evolved over the years, the important role it plays in the islands economy, environment, and way of life remains consistent, if not increasingly significant in the light of steady growth and expanding urbanization. Agriculture will continue to gain importance in shaping the form of future growth on Maui.
A strong agricultural sector is an important component of a balanced, diversified, and sustainable economy. Agriculture is an integral element of Maui’s economy, and community, cultivating a diversity of jobs, generating tax revenues, and producing a variety of crops for different local and export markets.
These key challenges include urban development pressure, availability of affordable water for irrigation, competition with mainland and international commodity products, high inter-island transportation costs, and shortage of farm worker housing.
In order to support the viability of agriculture and maintain it as a vital component of Maui’s economy, key challenges will need to be addressed. The many grants awarded to various agriculture organizations proves that Maui County is making every effort to be proactive in keeping agriculture viable.