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Polynesian agroforestry project on the Big Island hopes to boost food security

poly_forestry group photo.jpg
Keʻala Lucero
Co-Creative Studios
Representatives from NOAA and Keaukaha Panaʻewa Farmers Association affirm partnership through site blessing of the pilot project. Pictured from left to right: Nāmaka Rawlins (Pana’ewa homesteader), Maka’ala Rawlins (Keaukaha Panaʻewa Farmers Association member), Pua Kamaka (NOAA Pacific Island Coordinator), Letise LaFeir (NOAA Senior Advisor), Nicole LeBoeuf (Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service), Maile Lu’uwai (President of Keaukaha Panaʻewa Farmers Association) and Kalani Quiocho (NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Cultural Resource Coordinator).

Here's a new term for you: polyforestry. Think Polynesian agroforestry. A pilot project melding traditional knowledge and western science is underway on the Big Island. It's one of seven climate equity projects with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Conversation sat down with NOAA Coordinator Pua Kamaka and Maile Luʻuwai, president of the Keaukaha Panaʻewa Farmers Association, to talk about food security and akamai agriculture.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 8, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at
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