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Nearly 10,000 acres on Oʻahu approved for designation as important agricultural lands

The State Land Use Commission granted KS’ December 2014 petition to designate approximately 9,171 acres in Kawailoa on the north shore and 420 acres in Punalu‘u as important agricultural lands.

Last January, the LUC approved Kamehameha Schools’ petition to designate 190 acres of its lands on the north shore of Kaua‘i.

The State Land Use Commission has approved Kamehameha Schools’ petition to designate approximately 9,592 acres of the educational trust’s O‘ahu lands as important agricultural lands (IAL).

The commission voted at their February 18 hearing to grant KS’ December 2014 petition to  designate approximately 9,171 acres in Kawailoa on the north shore and 420 acres in Punalu‘u as important agricultural lands.

“Kamehameha Schools is pleased with the LUC’s recognition of nearly 10,000 acres of our O‘ahu properties as important agricultural lands,” said Sydney Keli‘ipule‘ole, Kamehameha Schools’ Land Assets Division director. “And we believe the approval of our petition moves us another step closer towards food sustainability for Hawai‘i.”

According to the petition, Kamehameha Schools waived its right to assert, claim or exercise any land reclassification credits for future use, an incentive provided to landowners to encourage IAL designation under the 2005 IAL legislation.

The petition lists Kamehameha Schools’ intent for the designation as first “to preserve agricultural lands so that the lands continue to provide food and sustainable energy for Hawai‘i’s people” and second “to increase the production of fruits, vegetables, meat and other food products on its lands for the local market.”

The LUC approval also opens the door to incentives that are available and that will become available to the farmers of these lands, including certain tax credits and loan guarantees.

The LUC noted Kamehameha Schools’ holistic planning approach to agricultural development throughout Hawai‘i, which was initiated by the Schools’ 2009 Strategic Agricultural Plan, and its 2008 North Shore Plan and 2010 Punalu‘u Ahupua‘a Plan.

Additional recognition was given for the Schools’ investment of more than $17 million in infrastructure and plans for processing facilities on the lands and surrounding lands to increase marketing opportunities for farmers at both locations.

Kamehameha Schools also plans to restore and revitalize traditional native Hawaiian agricultural systems.

To achieve these goals, Kamehameha Schools invests in and supports agricultural education, agricultural business, and agricultural markets, all of which play a critical role in Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry and are a part of the Schools’ Strategic Agricultural Plan.

Last January, the LUC approved Kamehameha Schools’ petition to designate 190 acres of its lands on the north shore of Kaua‘i.

For more information on Kamehameha Schools’ 2009 Strategic Agricultural Plan and agricultural initiatives, visit www.ksbe.edu/land.

About Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O`ahu, Maui and Hawai`i and 30 preschool sites statewide. Over 40,400 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai`i and across the continental United States. Income generated from its Hawai‘i real estate and portfolio of diverse financial investments fund 96% of the Schools’ educational mission.