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Hawai‘i’s Most Invasive Plant Species is Sugar Cane

October 18, 2012
Locopelli - Wailuku , The Maui Weekly

The sugar cane industry has played a major role in Hawai'i's past and will play an important role in transcending into Hawai'i's agricultural future.

Federal price supports for sugar currently equal $180,000 per job times 800, or $14.4 billion. Congress could vote at any time to end this and sugar production on Maui would end quickly. What then?

Sugar production would move to places that don't receive $14 billion in tourism dollars every year.

This money would be better spent retraining sugar company employees to grow sustainable organic food crops to make the land more profitable for the company, while making the islands food self-sufficient for all the residents. The value-added industries for those organic (Maui-grown) food products could provide much-needed green industry jobs.

If some fields of medical marijuana had to be burned, there would probably be no complaints.

Don't be against cane. Be for sustainable organic food self-sufficiency on Maui. Clean air will follow. (But we may have to reverse the wind turbines and turn them into fans and blow the vog back to Hawai'i Island.

I personally went through the Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire in Arizona that damaged my lungs with smoke. I can hardly breathe when they burn cane, but I want to be for a solution and not just against the problem. The real danger is underdeveloped immune systems of children who are most at risk.

This is an opportunity to create the future of agriculture in Maui--the greatest place on Earth.



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