HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new concept in farming is making it affordable for local farmers to own and maintain land in Hawaii.
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Peter Savio, a real estate developer, said “I sell everything at cost. So, I try to make as little a profit as possible and get my price as low as possible. We’re taking that concept, which I’ve used basically on condo conversions and residential projects, and now applying it to farmland.”
Savio also said the farmers on each lot have to “restrict the resale value so that the farms will always be affordable forever to be sold on the local market. So, they’re not going to tie the price to what outsiders will pay; they’re going to tie the price to wages in Hawaii.”
Savio said that these projects have been years in the making, and he’s working on another which he said has already helped about 400 farmers. “Simply by adding the camp, we make it possible for our small farmers to finance the land, to own the land, but also create wealth for their children and grandchildren. This is the solution to our farm issue here in Hawaii; we need to get our local farmers, our small farmers, on the land.”
Savio said the response from local farmers has been very emotional and positive that they sell lots within four to five hours.
Mila Handel, a local farmer on Oahu, said “it’s a growing market. If we look around us, farmers markets are actually where almost everybody goes today because we believe in local farming and then also because a lot of the fruits and vegetables are pesticide free, which promotes healthy living.”
Savio also plans to expand to Maui and Kauai. He said that this farming will bring back the local community. “I think we’re going to find a lot of farmers that have gone to California and elsewhere because they could afford to buy land are going to come back because we’re creating affordable farmland. And, it’s financial; that’s the key. It’s financial” Said Savio.