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Water, funding issues delay Oahu farmland cultivation

  • COURTESY AGRIBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORP.

    Currently, no irrigation system exists on the 1,200-acre site that can meet the demands of diversified agricultural farming. As a makeshift solution, farmer Larry Jefts constructed an irrigation system on the small piece of land he leased to grow watermelons and bell peppers.

  • COURTESY AGRIBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORP.

    The state owns 1,200 acres of farmland near Wahiawa, above, which used to be part of Del Monte’s former pineapple plantation. Earlier this year, one farmer, Larry Jefts, grew watermelons and bell peppers on a small portion of the land, top. However, inadequate water sources and a lack of funding have left close to 1,000 acres unused more than three years after the state acquired the land.

This past summer a crop of watermelons and bell peppers became the first fruits and vegetables produced from fields of rich soil near Wahiawa that had been fallow since 2004 after decades of pineapple farming. Read more

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