Improving Hawaii Agriculture
Monsanto Hawaii is 100% focused on agriculture. Our mission is to help fellow farmers succeed through the use of innovative practices and tools that empower farms to produce more food, fiber and fuel, while at the same time conserving natural resources and operating more sustainably.
As an agriculture company, we believe we have a responsibility to work collaboratively with our fellow farmers to promote a strong and successful Hawaii ag industry. Some of our efforts include:
- The Hawaii Agricultural Foundation Ag Park at Kunia promotes sustainable local farming by making land and other resources available to small local farms growing a variety of produce and other crops. The Park was created through an innovative partnership between Monsanto Hawaii, Island Palms Communities and the Hawaiian Agricultural Foundation.
- We offer a number of Ag Scholarships and Internships to students in Hawaii who are interested in pursuing a promising career in agriculture. It is our vision that these young people will go on to become future leaders in Hawaii’s ag industry. We also support Future Farmers of America at local high schools.
- Monsanto supports other local farming operations by subleasing approximately 630 acres of good quality agricultural land in Hawaii to other growers and ranchers. Given the high cost of land in Hawaii, this cooperative arrangement is a win-win for local agriculture.
- Monsanto Hawaii is an active, supportive member of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliated county farm bureaus. In addition to supporting the HFBF’s mission, our employees regularly volunteer their time and expertise for various farm bureau activities including Ag in the Classroom and the Hawaii State Farm Fair.
Local Economic Benefits
Monsanto Hawaii is part of the state’s seed industry, established in the 1960s as small scale winter nurseries for corn breeding. More than 40 years later, corn still dominates Hawaii’s seed industry, which has grown to become the state’s largest agricultural commodity.
Hawaii is a great fit for seed operations. For ag companies like Monsanto, Hawaii offers an attractive year-round growing climate for corn, an established agricultural industry and a skilled workforce.
In exchange, Hawaii’s seed industry:
- makes $159 million in direct contributions to Hawaii’s economy, including more than $76 million in labor income for local employees;
- creates 1,400 jobs in Hawaii with average earnings higher than the statewide average;
- generates over $550 million in total direct and indirect economic impact to Hawaii;
- pays nearly $30 million in tax revenue to the State of Hawaii;
- provides economic diversification – especially important on the neighbor islands;
- creates good jobs in a green industry;
- offers high-tech jobs for local residents;
- and helped put fallow agricultural land back into productive agricultural use.
Hawaii Ag Facts
Did you know? More than 90% of Monsanto Hawaii’s crops are corn. Corn cannot pollinate any of Hawaii’s native or endangered species. It’s a common misconception that our plants can somehow cross-pollinate with indigenous species.
How Biotech Saved the Papaya: Agricultural biotech is credited with saving Hawaii's papaya industry from a ring spot virus that threatened to devastate the industry. As a result, we're able to enjoy the Rainbow Papaya, and local farmers can continue to thrive. To learn more about how biotech saved the papaya, click here.