Hawaii Update Report

WildfireThe August wildfires devastated Lahaina, wiping out hundreds of businesses in a matter of hours and crippling Maui’s economic engine. More than two months later, businesses on Maui, many of them miles away from the burn zone, are struggling. Several protea growers experienced crop and minor infrastructure damage from the hurricane winds. Some growers had to evacuate as well. The totality of protea-growing areas affected by the fires is still unknown.

In Maui, there are approximately ten growers. The main Maui protea flower crops are Pincushions (Leucospermum spp.), Protea spp. (Minks, Kings), and Banksia spp. The current economic situation, along with reduced activity and tourism in Lahaina and Maui, have largely led to sharp decreases in floriculture product sales. The overall cost to agriculture and protea farms still needs to be determined. However, there is an enduring sense of “Aloha Spirit” community strength and courage as neighbors helping neighbors, which is invaluable.

Patio Nelson
Hawaii Delegate
Protea MyLife LLC

Information Resources:
Thomas Heaton, reporter for Civil Beat
Russell Galanti, Hawaii University.
Brian Miyamoto, Department of Agriculture.
Hannah Lutgen, Extension Faculty, Landscape and Floriculture. University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR)

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