Free guide published to help isle family farmers


A free 58-page guide titled “Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawaii: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation” is now available.

“Because of the high cost of labor, land, and materials in Hawaii, family farms are only economically sustainable if they can produce high-quality products that are valued above cheap imports,” noted authors Craig Elevitch and Ken Love.

This guide helps growers add value to all aspects of their farm enterprise and offers resources for further developing their strategies.

“If you cherish the farming lifestyle and want to keep farming, you have to make your farm profitable. This guide goes a long way towards showing how to escape from the fatal trap of commoditization by adding value for the consumer,” observed Kent Fleming, an extension economist who has developed numerous cost-of-production spreadsheets for the University of Hawaii and other organizations worldwide.

The guide was authored by Elevitch and Love with input from agricultural professionals statewide. Elevitch is an agroforestry educator whose most recent book, “Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011)” provides insights into sustainable cultivation and processing techniques for local and export markets with an emphasis on production methods, postharvest processing, and marketing.

Love, widely known as a passionate advocate for the innovative small farm, is co-owner of Love Family Farms in Kona, which produces a range of value-added products including jams, jellies, dried fruits and coffee.

“Adding value is an essential component of small farm sustainability,” said Love, who has extensive experience working with farm enterprises. “There are many different ways to add value in growing, processing, and marketing products. This guide is about finding ways of adding value to your operation that are best suited for you and that are ultimately profitable.”

The publication was produced with funds from the state Department of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Incubator Program of the University of Hawaii, and the county Department of Research and Development. The guide is available as a free download and a limited number of free hard copies will be available throughout Hawaii. Distribution locations and a link to download the free guide are listed at www.valueadded.info.

 

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