WHO WE ARE
Hawaii Oil Seed Producers (HOSPRO) is a federally recognized 501(c)5 corporation licensed as a tax exempt, nonprofit agricultural cooperative in Hawai`i and operates under CFDA number 10.769 and NAICS code 0173. HOSPRO was formed in 2014 at the end of a phase I proof of concept study that examined the question of whether African x American oil palm hyrids (Elaeis guineensis x Elaeis olifeira) would grow and thrive in Hawai`i. Dr. William Steiner, then Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Hawai`i in Hilo (UHH) tested the idea by importing phytosanitized seeds (an APHIS USDA requirement) of 3 varieties of hybrid oil palms from a company in Costa Rica. After sprouting and rearing the plants to a two foot height, the young palms were given out to a dozen small farm holders scattered across the island of Hawai`i to examine effects of differences in elevation, soil and climate, and whether rainfall, insects and fungi would impact survival and growth. The five-year study ended in 2012 when Dr. Steiner stepped down as Dean. With farmer field support, they found that oil palm does very well in Hawai`i, is slightly slower in maturing than in Central America but may be producing more fruit, grows well below 3000’ with production beginning at 3 years and is highly resistant beyond the seedling stage to dozens of insects and fungi known to attack palms. HOSPRO is now raising funding to establish an oil palm nursery on the Big Island to begin expansion of an industry proven for production of edible oil, biofuel, animal feed and compost as well as biostock for production of plastics, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals bringing new industries with better paying jobs to Hawai`i while building a sustainable, circular bioeconomy aimed at large reduction of carbon in the Hawaiian environment. We aim to use land formerly used for pineapple and sugar cane and already have 2,500 acres of small holders lined up to accept trees.
WHY OIL PALM NOW?
Oil palm has been producing edible oil for over 4,000 years. It currently provides cooking oil for more than a third of the world’s population. While most people know that palms grow well in Hawai`i, few realize that oil palm was formerly limited to growing 11o N and 11o S of the equator. Only recently hybrid oil palms were developed for growing in cooler climates beyond their former range. These have genes for dwarfism, increased productivity and smaller leaves enabling more to be planted/acre.
The cultivation of oil palm has a very negative reputation for destroying native habitat and endangering species in SE Asia. Its cultivation has been marred by this clearing of ancient forests to create vast monocultures of the crop. However, production in Hawai`i would be very different because:
Native habitat would not be destroyed, rather we would use the hundreds of thousands of underutilized acres of former sugar and pineapple land for production;
Oil palm cultivation easily lends itself to intercropping with shade tolerant food crops and endangered species, it the latter situation setting up environmental restoration of damaged native habitats;
A Palm industry would bring the first renewable vegetable oil system to Hawai`i with all its potential for new and better paying jobs and spin off industries providing more security and economic growth for the Islands;
Production tests in 2017 have proven the oil palms, which passed the proof of concept study with flying colors, would produce 620-650 gallons of oil/acre higher than world production averages of 602 gallons/acre.
HOSPRO’S VISION-KEEPING IT LOCAL
Our vision is that oil palm and its products can do several good thing for Hawai`i’s fuel and food security, promoting a circular bioeconomy in the process while simultaneously lowering Hawai’i’s carbon footprint. By making agricultural production the center of rural community economies, mills, industries and therefore jobs would by local in nature. Such jobs would have a higher earning capacity and higher security than the average construction and tourism job. Oil palm production thus creates home grown industries where the money strengthens the island bioeconomy by staying home and not going offshored to overseas shareholders. It will create sources of biofuel and animal feed (from waste byproducts) that are almost nonexistent in Hawai`i. Because palm oil is an industry that, unlike sugar and pineapples, will be consumed at home and not as a commodity export dependent on global vagaries, its industry generating potential will enable it to be sustainable for a very long time even if biofuel was replaced with algal resources or electricity.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
First and foremost, HOSPRO is an agricultural cooperative that seeks food and fuel security for Hawai`i. We have a small mill to extract palm oil from the original proof of concept trees which are now producing. We are developing STEM programs to train intern students because hundreds of people will be required to man this new industry. We are fostering a working relationship with the new Institute for Tropical Bioeconomy to be centered at the University of Hawai’i in Hilo, Hi. We welcome your participation in these visions signing up for one or more of the following options:
1) Signing up with HOSPRO to receive and grow oil palms;
2) Purchasing shares in HOSPRO
3) Donating directly to HOSPRO at our donation site or by sending a check to
Hawaii Oil Seed Producers LLC, 200 Kanoelehua Avenue NO. 205, Hilo, HI 96720.
For more information please visit the rest of our website at
www.hawaiioilseedproducers.com or contact email@example.com