Keeping sugar cane the right thing to do for Maui

Is removing the sugar cane industry really the right decision for our island? The sugar cane will never be the same as our kupuna’s kalo patches, however it’s also not the equivalent of hundreds of housing areas with thousands of more people. I believe that the sugar cane industry should continue to remain on Maui.

Oahu was once an island plentiful with sugar cane. However, the sugar cane industry on that island has been removed, resulting in housing and construction causing overpopulation and increased pollution. I’m not intending to insult Oahu, but environmental differences between the two islands are obvious.

It would be highly favorable if the sugar cane was removed and replaced with local agriculture products but, as witnessed, our beloved Maui is instead slowly progressing in development by various Mainland companies.

Keeping the sugar cane industry on this island will not only keep the island less populated and polluted, but also what makes Maui special, unique and somewhat connected to the past of Hawaii’s diversity.

Most of our local ohana who originally arrived in these islands put hard work and memories into the sugar cane fields. Hawaii would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for the sugar cane industry. Hawaii is one of the most diverse places in the world and one of the factors that made it this way is the sugar cane industry.

Noelani Poepoe