Lawmakers Struggle To Boost Hawaii's Food Production

Russell Ruderman wants to make lemonade.

The Big Island state senator is fed up with hundreds of millions of dollars leaving the local economy to import beverages and food products that could be made in Hawaii with a few key investments and support from the public and private sectors.

Softball-sized lemons can be grown year-round in the islands. And water? Hawaii gets more rainfall than virtually any other state. Look no farther than Maui for sugar.

But when it comes to processing plants and bottling facilities, that’s when the notion of making and selling lemonade falls apart — at least on any scale beyond a roadside stand.

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