Our central valley is green and lush with sugarcane. This is one of the things that brings visitors to our island. But how long will we be able to keep these crops growing? Central and South America produce for a fraction of the cost due to cheaper land, cheaper transportation, and cheaper labor.
One factor that sugarcane has to face is the availability of water. Much of the island’s water supply goes to these fields. The rest of the island fights for their right to use water.
Sugarcane production was at its height in the 1980’s but has drastically declined since then. In it’s place, we’ve promoted Tourism. Maui has always been considered the higher-end, luxury vacation spot as opposed to the more popular Oahu. Sugarcane crops are partly responsible for Maui’s mystique and exotic allure.
Update! Maui Sugarcane News! Sugarcane will no longer be grown as the primary crop by HC&S by later 2016.