Urbanization has been a major factor in the transformation of agricultural production on Oahu's farms. With the world economy rapidly expanding and more people working in industrial and service companies, agriculture has had to meet the demands of an ever-growing urban population. This has led to an increase in energy, land, water, and greenhouse gas emissions needed to produce food for consumption, as well as malnutrition for hundreds of millions of urban residents. The key questions with respect to agriculture and urbanization are whether the growing and changing demand for agricultural products by growing urban populations can be maintained while also reducing rural and urban poverty.
Additionally, there is a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the resilience of agriculture and urban development to the impacts of climate change. Low- and middle-income countries are particularly affected by this issue, as they are home to more than three-quarters of the world's urban population and most of the largest cities. The modernization of agriculture has resulted in a decline in agricultural land use due to increased efficiency and productivity. This has caused the end of large-scale plantations and a decrease in agriculture as an industry overall. The multiple links between rural areas and cities mean that climate change will have a direct effect on both agriculture and urban areas.
For instance, climate change can influence the availability and cost of food, as well as interruptions in urban demand for agricultural products. Agriculture still provides a means of livelihood for around a third of the global labor force and generates between 2 and 3% of global value added. Urban and peri-urban agriculture plays an important role in food and nutrition security in most low-income countries, although it is more difficult for the urban poor to access land needed for agriculture. In Hawaii, there is a voluntary program that provides tax credits to farmland owners who meet certain criteria. Matthew Loke, administrator of the State Department of Agriculture, noted that not all land labeled as agricultural is arable. He also pointed out that part of Hawaii's agricultural landscape is designated as Important Agricultural Land (IAL), a government program created by the 1978 Constitutional Convention to promote diversified agriculture.
Kurashima and colleagues studied how three traditional Native Hawaiian farming systems (dryland, agroforestry, and lo'i) could help meet Hawaii's food sufficiency needs in light of climate change problems. In conclusion, urbanization has had a major impact on agricultural production on Oahu's farms. The modernization of agriculture has led to increased efficiency but also a decline in agricultural land use. Climate change will have a direct effect on both agriculture and urban areas, making it more difficult for the urban poor to access land needed for agriculture. To maintain agricultural prosperity while reducing rural and urban poverty, it is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change impacts.