HONOLULU(KHON2) — Land in Wahiawa, notoriously known as an illegal dumping ground, is finally cleared. And the state said hundreds of acres will soon be used for farming.
The property managed by the Agribusiness Development Corporation was a haven for crime — it was a homeless encampment and a mass dumping ground, notorious for illegal activity.
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Law enforcement swept the area in early 2020 after a woman was shot and killed there.
But getting the land cleared and keeping it that way has been a challenge, according to the ADC.
After the sting, they were given more than $600,000 to clean things up. They said they removed around 1,000 abandoned vehicles.
One of the most important things the ADC said it still needs to do is test the soil to make sure that it’s not contaminated.
While the future of that portion of land is up in the air, the ADC already awarded leases to several businesses to farm more than 1,300 of their 4,200 acres.
In a statement, Ken Nakamoto from Agribusiness Development Corporation said:
“Farmers selected to occupy ADC’s remaining vacant parcels in Central Oahu have taken significant steps in fulfilling requirements before farming the area. ADC and farming tenants have been prepping the land which includes, removing and hauling away trash, soil testing, and installing irrigation lines.”
“Right now Ohana Hui Ventures is coming out of our right-of-entry, which allows us to get onto the land and survey what needs to be done and where we need to go with it,” explained Scott Wong CEO of Ohana Hui Ventures Inc.
Wong said there’s still been some illegal dumping and occasional trespassers, but nothing they haven’t been able to manage.
“ADC provides security that patrols the outside and checks the gates of the inside we’re doing our own security,” said Wong.
He and other farmers, like Keoni Ford with Ke A Lalau Farms, are just eager to work the land.
“This is a great starting point the center of our ag, and then we can have a new beginning to how we view food production in the future,” Ford said.
“I think the ADC is turning things around,” said Wong.
Nakamoto said, the ADC’s board of directors will look at approving licenses for two of its tenants to allow them to start farming. He said the other tenants are still fulfilling the requirements.