The Chamber is a leading advocate for a thriving, sustainable, and diverse North Shore agricultural sector that contributes to our local economy and country lifestyle.
The Chamber has worked toward many improvements and solutions for North Shore agriculture, including:
- Securing a $600K USDA grant for North Shore agricultural irrigation system repairs and improvements, including Lake Wilson’s outlet tunnel
- Creating an Agricultural Security Watch Program
- Mapping North Shore farms for emergency response
R1 Rating for Lake Wilson Water
Lake Wilson’s water is currently rated R2. R2 water is recycled water that has limited agricultural use because it may contain harmful bacteria. The water can be used for food crops that are above ground and not contacted by the recycled water such as banana, papaya, coffee, chocolate, and pineapple. It can also be used for non-edible crops such as seed corn, flowers, trees, and others. It cannot be used for edible crops such as lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, sweet corn, etc.
The North Shore cannot reach its agricultural potential until Lake Wilson’s water is upgraded to R1. Our future is diversified agriculture where we can contribute to the State’s demand for locally-grown fruits, vegetables and other produce. The Chamber will continue to advocate that necessary upgrades be made to Lake Wilson water until it becomes rated R1 and we can grow all edible crops.
The Chamber supports Farmers’ Resource Workshops for the North Shore’s small farmers. The North Shore has a high number of small-scale immigrant farmers, primarily from SE Asia. These farmers hold subleased plots of land and specialize in the production of fruits and vegetables for the local market. These workshops will make them aware of available resources and help educate them on new regulatory compliance issues such as:
- The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
- New EPA regulation regarding Worker Protection Standards (WPS) and pesticide use
“Did You Know?” Agricultural Awareness Campaign
The Chamber, with the help of and funding by the Hawai’i State Dept. of Agriculture, developed and printed paper place mats that help bring awareness to the public of the North Shore’s agricultural sector. The place mats are distributed by North Shore McDonald’s restaurants, Zippy’s and others. The North Shore hosts the largest asparagus, papaya, Tilapia fish, pineapple and cacao farms, among others, on the island of Oahu.