HONOLULU — The number of acres under cultivation at farms in Hawaii has increased for the first time in at least three decades.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows Hawaii farmers put 8,000 more acres into production between 2007 and 2012.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the gain is relatively small but significant given that 180,000 acres was lost during the prior five-year period.
Hawaii’s farmed land area has declined by about 800,000 acres since 1982.
The new growth occurred largely on Oahu, where about 8,700 additional acres were farmed. There also were increases on Maui and Hawaii island, which each gained about 3,000 acres of farmed land. Kauai suffered a loss of 7,400 acres.
Overall, about 1.13 million acres are now being farmed in Hawaii.