Statement by State Agribusiness Development Corporation Regarding the Passing of Executive Director James Nakatani

Posted on Apr 25, 2023 in News

Agribusiness Development Corporation
For Immediate Release: April 25, 2023

James Nakatani

James Nakatani

(ADC statement attributable to Mark Takemoto, acting ADC executive director, listed below in italics).

“The ADC board of directors and staff are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of James “Jimmy” Nakatani, executive director of the State Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC), on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

“Appointed as head of ADC in 2012, Jimmy’s life and passion were about promoting and cultivating local agriculture. His background and experience on the matter proved invaluable to ADC.

“Nakatani’s final accomplishment for the organization was helping coordinate the selection of farming tenants for the remaining vacant 1,200 acres of ADC property in Central Oahu. He also pushed for other ag-related projects and initiatives in the region in support of local farmers and diversified ag.”

Nakatani’s involvement in agriculture began with his family watercress farm, Nakatani Farms, Inc., for which he was the owner and Chief Executive Officer from 1978 to 1994. He later became the President of the Hawaii Farm Bureau and served as director of the state Department of Agriculture from 1995 to 2003.

Nakatani was a graduate of Waipahu High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Management from the University of Hawaii at Manoa .

Following Nakatani’s passing, the ADC board of directors conducted an emergency meeting on Monday, April 24, 2023, to appoint Mark Takemoto as acting ADC executive director until a new permanent director is selected.

About the Agribusiness Development Corporation:
The Agribusiness Development Corporation (“ADC”) is a state agency created in 1994 by the Hawaii State Legislature and administratively attached to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Its mission to conserve and convert arable lands and their associated infrastructure that were formerly large mono-crop plantation lands into new, productive uses. The agency’s ultimate goal is to ensure that agricultural production and agribusiness ventures will be responsive to the current food and other agricultural needs of the State of Hawaii.

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Laci Goshi
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
(808) 587-9006