Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 1668
                                     H.D. 1

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Finance, to which was referred H.B. No.
1668 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to support the taro industry by
appropriating funds for research on diseases and other problems
afflicting taro.

     This bill seeks to address the decline in taro yield by
directing the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
(CTAHR) of the University of Hawaii at Manoa to conduct research
on fungal organisms, resistant varieties of taro, and cultural
practices that may reduce the spread of disease.
     The County of Kauai Office of Economic Development, the
Kauai Taro Growers Association, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,
Hui Kalo o Kahana, and Ornamental Pacifica testified in support
of this measure.  The Hawaii Agriculture Research Center
supported the intent of the bill.  CTAHR submitted comments.

     As part of the State's effort to diversify agriculture, your
Committee recognizes taro cultivation as an integral part of that
endeavor.  Furthermore, your Committee finds that taro yields
have been declining statewide in recent years and that diseases
such as pocket rot and leaf blight will continue to have an

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1096
                                 Page 2

adverse impact on the crop if they are not controlled or

     Your Committee has amended this bill by:

     (1)  Establishing the Taro Research Special Fund to support
          research on diseases and other problems that affect
          taro, and depositing the appropriation into this
          special fund;

     (2)  Directing the Agribusiness Development Corporation
          (ADC) to administer this special fund and designating
          the ADC as the expending agency for the appropriation;

     (3)  Changing the appropriation amount to $1 for the purpose
          of continued discussion; and 

     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive revisions for
          consistency and clarity.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Finance that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No.
1668, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third
Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1668, H.D. 1.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Finance,

                                   DWIGHT Y. TAKAMINE, Chair