Nhsc-v1-390

From GrassrootWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-390

Text Only

are subleased by the homesteaders to others, not necessarily native Hawaiians, in the form of grazing agreements. We estimate that only 16 percent of total available acreage is now under cultivation or being used as ranch land by homesteaders.

There are many reasons why the native Hawaiian farming and ranching program has not progressed rapidly. The reasons cited include: (1) the inadequate financial resources of homesteaders; (2) the lack of farming expertise; (3) the lack of a serious commitment to farming on the part of the homesteaders; (4) the failure of the Commission to enforce its own rules and regulations concerning the use and cultivation of the land, and the provision of the Act concerning subleases; (5) the priority of DHHL during the past 6 years to concentrate on the residential program; (6) the character of land provided by the Act; (7) water availability problems; and (8) the reluctance of native Hawaiians to undertake the inherent risks associated with agricultural enterprises.

DHHL has, admittedly, not concentrated its limited staff and financial resources on the development and implementation of its farming and ranching programs.

Molokai Farming Problems: The most striking example of the difficulties of implementing a successful farming program occurred on the island of Molokai. The original Act had a 5-year limitation period and allowed only lands on Molokai, and the Waimanu, Keaukaha, and Panaewa lands on the island of Hawaii to be used for the purposes of the Act. The first homesteader moved to Molokai in July 1922 and in 1924 the first residential homestead awards were made on the island of Hawaii. According to a 1975 study known as the Kanahele report, during the first 4 years diversified farming on Molokai achieved unexpected results. Alfalfa, tomatoes, corn, watermelons, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers were planted with success in the Kalamaula area. In addition to the crops, the homesteaders raised livestock of which pigs turned out to be the most profitable. By the end of the first 4 years the program became the "Molokai miracle." In the meantime, homesteaders in the Hoolehua area of Molokai began diversified dryland farming with some success. The Territorial Legislature, in 1927, found that the homestead programs on the island of Molokai and Hawaii were a success and requested the Secretary of the Interior and the United States Congress to extend the homestead program to all of the other islands. The Act was amended on March 7, 1928 to remove the 5-year limitation.

The "Molokai miracle" turned into a failure by 1930 because, according to the Kanahele report, the high saline content of the irrigation water combined with evaporation had ruined the fields and there was no other adequate water source. Also, fruit flies had destroyed the watermelon crop, and cucumbers were not successfully marketed. Diversified dryland farming in the Hoolehua area continued without much success due to drought and low yield. The Commission, in 1945, concluded that diversified farminq in Hoolehua would not be successful because the cost of developing water for irrigation was too high and too many homesteaders were unable to farm because of age. The Commission recommended to the Territorial Legislature that the policy of diversified farming in Hoolehua be abandoned.

According to the Kanahele report, there was one crop, pineapple, that was achieving success in the Hoolehua

-p390-

Previous Page Next Page