can you please tell us what it means for a ECONOMIC INCENTIVES in terms of the "local" farmer as these incentives always offer tremendous benefit to the larger corporations like DOLE which are listed in your report (as it is them who usually own much more land than local farm owners/passionate cacao growers)...
access to land (long term rather than short term leasing) has proven difficult for most truly passionate cacao farmers ... this may require more than tax credits as those farmers i KNOW who LOVE growing cacao have access to little land and those who have access to larger parcels seem more motivated by profit than the LOVE of cacao itself. what, if anything, is proposed to assist these dedicated farmers?
also, there was a grant( or grants) offered on big island for example for the growing of cacao ... do you KNOW what BEcame of these abandoned ventures and if there are any more available to actually realize this opportunity?
They don't yet know what incentives will be available. Hawaii economics are in a shambles...we don't even send kids to school on Fridays so any tax breaks or incentives will likely be tabled for quite a while. Cacao would fall under any agriculture grants in general, as of now there are no specific grants but you could write one under another generalized ag grant.
FYI the two people at Dole who are involved with the growing/promotion of cacao in Hawaii , Mike Conway and Derek Lanter are VERY passionate about it and have done a lot of good to promote the industry here. Their chocolate operation is a fly spec in their entire operation and they are not well funded by the rest of the company.It is their passion and UNPAID and UN recognized hours of committment that have paved the way for many others to be involved in the chocolate industry here-promoting chocolate to chefs, culinary schools etc. Do not make the assumption that all big business is bad business squashing the small farmer. Land politics and land costs in Hawaii can be ridiculous, thats true, but thats true for every farmed product here. Land on the Big Island, suitable for cacao is within the reach of many and there are lots of small growers. Some grow for people like the Coopers, others grow for raw foods and sell to health food stores. There is plenty of opportunity for anyone interested to work hard and be a farmer if that is your desire.
never assuming anything dear ONE ... always KNOWing what IS ") farm land IS cheap in less desireable areas on big island but to grow in more conducive locations is playing ball in a totally different field. there are many NO NAMED cacao growers there who would LOVE to expand their growing but even though they are doing better than most, cannot afford to expand due to land costs/small market share etc.
I AM glad that you shared your experience with the DOLE team as it is the local "mom/pop" farmers growing cacao who are publically present inspiring the general masses with their LOVE of growing/making cacao related products.
so now that we all KNOW there is LOVE in both BIG and SMALL business ... let us stay focused on the situation at hand which is UNITY in bringing this product to marketplace. let us keep our focus on creating funding/incentives etc that inspire creative enterprise and support those who are putting their current bugets to make this industry presence that which it IS.
Aloha Deedee laxmi devi,
The taskforce report was prepared by Matthew Loke's group in the Agricultural Development division of HDOA. You might consider sending him an email or a call 808-973-9592.
This was a report and to my knowledge there have been no bills resulting from it nor programs initiated by HDOA.