Governor’s ‘State of the State’ limits tech mentions to agriculture

Gov. David Ige

Hawaii Gov. David Y. Ige yesterday delivered his annual “State of the State” address at the Hawaii State Capitol. In his prepared remarks, “tech” or “technology” appeared only in reference to agriculture.

“Perhaps the longest transition we have experienced recently has been the transformation of our agricultural industry from large-scale farming to more diversified farms,” Ige said. “But there is one important difference in today’s efforts from yesterday’s: And that’s technology.”

Ige referenced tech four times yesterday, continuing a downward trend in mentions during his tenure. Last year’s State of the State mentioned tech five times, which was half the ten mentions of 2018. His 2017 address featured technology prominently, mentioning it twelve times and mentioning startups five times.

The remainder of Ige’s agriculture technology remarks follow:

“As in other fields, we have seen the rise of technology change the face of everything in society. In agriculture, it too has been a game changer. It has enabled farmers to produce higher yields in the field and more precise targeting strategies in the marketplace. Consequently, we are seeing a greater willingness to invest in local agricultural endeavors.

“Over the last several weeks, we have seen a number of news articles on agricultural start-ups.

Mahi Pono, which bought 41,000 acres of former sugar cane land, is raising potatoes in central Maui. And they want to plant another 120 acres of citrus trees and 20 acres of non-GMO papayas. Their plans also include growing avocados, bell peppers, guava, lilikoi, oranges, lemons and limes.

Sensei Farms is transforming agriculture on Lanaʻi by using a mix of proven and innovative technology to power its hydroponic greenhouses on former pineapple fields. This mix of traditional farming and new technology is the wave of the future for agriculture throughout the state.

“More than at any other time in our history, local farmers have it within their grasp to make a difference in our drive toward self-sufficiency.

At this time, I would also like to acknowledge State senators Donovan Dela Cruz and Mike Gabbard and representatives Richard Onishi and Richard Creagan, who have long been strong advocates for agriculture in Hawaii.”

Tech Mentions in Previous State of the State Addresses:

  • 2020: Four mentions of tech’ or ‘technology,’ one of ‘startups.’
  • 2019: Five mentions of ‘tech’ or ‘technology,’ zero of ‘startups.’
  • 2018: Ten mentions of ‘tech’ or ‘technology,’ three of ‘startups.’
  • 2017: Twelve mentions of ‘tech’ or ‘technology,’ five of ‘startups.’
  • 2016: Three mentions of ‘tech’ or ‘technology,’ zero of ‘startups.’
  • 2015: Two mentions of ‘tech’ or ‘technology,’ zero of ‘startups.’

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