Coffee is grown on 790 farms encompassing 3,800 acres across the island.


Beginning with the first Polynesian voyagers who arrived with their collection of canoe crops, Hawaii Island has been deeply rooted in agriculture for centuries. Early Hawaiians were adept at producing crops to sustain large native populations. By the 1860s, sugar began to replace subsistence farming and progress took the shape of large sugar plantations. These vast operations dwindled in the 1970s and ceased altogether in the mid-1990s with final sugar harvests.

Small-farm entrepreneurs stepped up to restore Hawaii Island’s agricultural diversity in the modern post-plantation era. Countywide initiatives have raised awareness among island residents – adults and children – on the importance of sustaining agriculture and future food security. Local consumers, restaurant chefs, food purveyors and supermarkets are more eager to support the growing Buy Local philosophy.

According to data amassed in the Hawaii County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study 2012, 62% of the state’s farms and ranches are located on Hawaii Island. Ninety percent of these 4,650 farms and ranches are less than 50 acres in size.

Hawaii Island’s agricultural harvests are produced on farms, forests and pastures that total roughly a half million acres and are dispersed around the island.

Primary crops for export and local consumption include:

Aquaculture Banana
Coffee Flowers
Foliage Macadamia nuts
Papaya Specialty food crops
Taro Tropical fruits
Vegetable crops

Click here to visit our website with in-depth agricultural resources, services, programs and research.