THE GARDEN ISLAND
/ September 18, 2016 /
The biotechnical seed engineering industry generated $105 million in gross domestic product on Kauai in the 2015-16 crop year, according to a report released last week by the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.
That’s including multiplier effects, and is part of the $323 million in total economic impact the seed industry has had on Hawaii in that crop year.
“It seems to me, looking at the data, that this is the new normal for the industry,” said Paul Brewbaker, owner of TZ Economics, and the economist who developed the report.
As it approaches its 50-year mark of existence in Hawaii, the seed industry’s value has dipped from $240 million at its peak in 2010-12, and is now sitting at around $150 million in the crop year ending in 2016.
Brewbaker said the decline in the industry’s value has to do with two different factors: the age of the industry itself, and the recent global commodity price decline.
The seed industry climbed in value from the 1970s until just after 2010, as it grew as an industry. Once the industry matured, the increasing value leveled off.
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