Does Hawaii have plantations?

The term plantation is a bit obsolete today. Although Hawaii never had slavery, the sugar plantations were largely based on cheap imported labor from Maderia, and many parts of Asia. Maderia, along with my strumming GGF, brought Hawaii the Ukulele. While not "slaves" in the sense of plantation ownership of workers - before WWII, the imported laborers were usually stuck in plantation company towns, company housing, with low pay. Conditions weren't great, but they weren't bad either. The housing was decent. Most had hospitals, stores, gyms - some even had swimming pools & tennis courts. Laborers with families were usually in segregated housing by place of origin, which helped make them feel at home, with common languages & customs. In the fields, they all worked together. My parents lived in one such town where I was born in the company hospital. I recall enjoying my time there as a young child, playing with kids from all over the world.

Both sides of my family worked on sugar plantations all over the state. It became clear after WWII, sugar, or any other crop, could be grown & harvested more economically almost anywhere besides Hawaii. My Dad's plantation closed around 1965. I recall him telling me as a child Hawaii had the highest-paid farmer workers on earth. With some of the best soil and growning conditions on the planet, agriculture in Hawaii was a dying industry. In addition to labor, the high cost of engery, transportation to market, and the cost of channeling water from the wet side of an island to the dry, sunny side - you have very expensive production.

Sugar has been subsidized for decades in the form of big tariffs for importing foreign sugar. It's a shady, complex mechanism full of politics, political "donations" by industry interests, etc. Those tariffs forced Americans to pay more for sugar at the supermarket and for industrial uses. In the end, like so many items produced in Hawaii, the subsidies couldn't overcome the high labor, energy & transportation costs that constraint Hawaii's economy in general. Pineapple is on life-suppor for the same reasons, minus the subsidy cesspool. Papayas are largely grown on family farms in Hawaii for local consumption - the farms aren't too bIt in comparison to sugar and pineapples. Coffee is similar, with mostly smaller family farms in the Kona region, but larger, more mechanized coffee farms are on Kauai, Maui, & Oahu. Molokai, & Lanai, with huge acreage of fertile soil simply doesn't have the infrastructure for economical agricultural anymore - sadly. Hawaiian coffee is expensive for all the same reasons. Mac nuts are unique, the trees take a long time to be productive, and Hawaii (Big Island) has 1000's of acres of big, mature trees - it is still a leading exporter for those tasty treats. For how long, it's hard to say. You might have noticed they aren't cheap...

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Hawaii's main crops were pineapple, and sugarcane. By the time the business men wanted to create these plantations too many Hawaiians had died, to the point that powers to be expected them to be extinct soon. So that is when they started bringing what would become the melting pot of many nations and what is one of the wonderful experiences about visiting here. About a decade ago, the last plantation was closed. There was a number of reasons, but one is the encroachment of people wanting to build on those lands. Also, after a hundred years or so, they no longer made money.

Update: Thanks to the folks that corrected me. I'm sorry if I misunderstood that many of the agricultural crops grown in the islands, are grown under the name of plantations. Some of these other crops are:

papaya, coffee, tropical fruit trees, bananas, macadamia nuts, avocados, guavas, flowers, and others. I was answering for whether any plantations still exist. There are growers that feel that not all, but some of the above qualify as plantations and not farms.

Please read Ray Davies's answer, that is far more comprehensive than mine.

Only as tourist relics. The last one closed. Hawaii's Last Sugar Plantation to Close

My family member said my other family member mother owned and lived on the planation with papaya and still does.

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