Major addition to the Whitmore Agricultural Hub in Central Oʻahu
Governor David Ige’s goal of doubling local food production by the year 2030 got a boost this week with the addition of 194 acres of a former Dole pineapple property to the Whitmore North Agricultural Lands in Central Oʻahu. The Trust for Public Land officially transferred the property to the State of Hawaiʻi Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC), which will lease the property as an orchard bringing the land back into active food production after over 10 years of lying fallow.
The Whitmore Agricultural Hub, a key part of Senator Donovan Dela Cruz’s plan to make Central Oʻahu a major source of local food, will now extend across more than 1,750 acres, anchored by the 1200-acre Galbraith property (also purchased with help from The Trust for Public Land) and Whitmore Avenue processing facilities.
The land is also strategically important to the US Navy, who contributed $1.81 million of the $3.62 million purchase price. It borders the U.S. Navy’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s Wahiawā Annex, the home of globally important military telecommunications facilities. By ensuring that the property will be used solely for agricultural purposes, the Wahiawā Annex can continue its critically important operations without incompatible development around its perimeters.
Senator Donovan Dela Cruz stated, “The acquisition of the Whitmore North Agricultural Lands from Dole Food Company Inc. is a compelling example of how federal and state agencies can partner to preserve agricultural lands. Working closely with the Governor and my colleagues on both sides of the legislature, we appropriated more than $40,000,000 toward the acquisition of agricultural lands in Central Oʻahu that will sustain future generations in Hawaiʻi. I appreciate the work of the Agribusiness Development Corporation, the United States Navy, and The Trust for Public Land to help further the progress of the Whitmore Project, and will continue my work of ensuring that land and processing facilities are made available to help Hawaiʻi farmers.”
This acquisition was funded through a legislative appropriation secured by Senator Donovan Dela Cruz and an equal contribution by the United States Navy through the Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program.