Introduction The Buy Local, It Matters campaigns in the state and the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) successful collaborations with island chefs to utilize the ultra-exotic ethnic tropical fruits have increased the demand for local fruit. Currently, the demand for locally grown fruits is greater than what the local growers can supply and in order to increase production, the growers need a reliable supply of trees to plant in order to increase production and support their individual business plans.
State culinary schools have promoted using locally grown produce in their curriculum and adding the less familiar, more difficult to source local fruit is important to their creativity as they move into the work place.
Trees are available from outside the state, however, the obstacles of high cost to purchase, to ship, and to approve for import is often prohibitive for local growers to risk, knowing the trees may not survive in the local environment. Some of the desired trees already exist in Hawaii at state and federal research facilities or at the Botanic Gardens, however, there are administrative challenges in order to distribute cloned material. This project would work with these institutions to obtain the germplasm for cloning and plant the trees at project-selected locations.
The goal of this project is to develop a series of tropical fruit tree germplasm repositories for unusual tropical fruit or unusual varieties of common fruit such as avocado, mango and lychee, on participating island counties throughout the state. HTFG would procure the resulting trees for planting then propagate and distribute them to growers statewide at a lower cost, with no shipping, import permitting costs and less climate concerns. They would also be made available to commercial nurseries that donŐt usually carry these unusual varieties.
Special Thanks to the Hawaii Depart of Agriculture Market Development Division
A special thanks to Dr. Kent Fleming for his cost of production sections in the following publications, Dr. Bryan Bruner, Dr. Richard Bowen, Dr. Francis Zee and Dr. Robert Paull for thier assistance and corrections.