Report Title:



Appropriates funding to the college of tropical agriculture and human resources at the University of Hawaii for various programs.


H.B. NO.












SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources is committed to the preparation of students and all citizens of Hawaii for life in the global community through research and educational programs supporting tropical agricultural systems that foster viable communities, a diversified economy, and a healthy environment. The purpose of this Act is to appropriate to the University of Hawaii funds that will support research, instruction, and outreach programs of the college of tropical agriculture and human resources that will further this mission and actively help Hawaii diversify its economy, strengthen its communities, and ensure a sustainable environment.

The legislature finds that Hawaii must diversify its economic base beyond a reliance on tourism. A revived and revitalized state agricultural industry promises not only to diversify Hawaii's economy, but also to sustain and stabilize Hawaii's food supply and protect the open space and lifestyle that Hawaii residents and visitors value.

Hawaii's agriculture and value-added products contribute $2,400,000,000 to the State's economy and employs more than thirty-eight thousand people. During the past twenty years, diversified agriculture in Hawaii more than doubled, reaching a record $370,900,000 in farm-level revenues in 2002. The prime agricultural lands released from sugar and pineapple production present a rare window of opportunity to further agricultural development. Currently, about one hundred thousand acres of former sugar and pineapple land lie fallow, awaiting economically viable agribusinesses. If all this land could be put to productive use in successful agricultural ventures, an additional $1,700,000,000 to $4,400,000,000 could be added to the State's economy.

Also, during the past two decades, the Hawaii beef cattle industry has experienced structural shifts that have led to a significant decline in the market share of locally produced beef, from an estimated thirty per cent to less than ten per cent, and to a thirty-seven per cent decrease in the farm value of cattle and calf sales. At present, the majority of calves born in the State are exported to various markets on the United States mainland and Canada. Keeping fifty thousand of these calves in Hawaii could potentially increase the farm gate value of the beef cattle industry by $25,000,000. Hawaii-finished beef holds great promise as a niche market commodity.

The legislature also finds that for Hawaii agriculture to take advantage of current opportunities, it must generate high quality, market-driven products that offset Hawaii's high costs of land, labor, water, and transportation. This requires that agriculture have access to state-of-the-art research and outreach programs.

The college of tropical agriculture and human resources is engaged in several areas of research and outreach that have already contributed to the resurgence of agriculture in Hawaii. Among the college's contributions to the State's agricultural industry are:

(1) Identification and development of high-value plant- and animal-based food and fiber products to help Hawaii stay competitive in a global market;

(2) Development of effective and environmentally sound pest, disease, nutrient, and resource management systems; and

(3) Research that advances agricultural biotechnology, an industry that has the potential to bring billions of dollars to the State's economy.

The legislature further finds that work in these areas must be expanded to develop and promote high-value products, including:

(1) New and improved plant varieties that resist disease and environmental stress and tolerate pesticides;

(2) Plants and plant cell culture systems that produce high-value chemicals, fragrances, vaccines, or specific nutrients;

(3) Biotechnological innovations that permit rapid analysis to screen for valuable molecular products, evaluate environmental and process chemistry, and identify pest species; and

(4) Resource- and herd-management approaches and market research that maximize the yield and profitability of, and expand demand for, Hawaii-finished beef.

The legislature finds that expansion of ongoing research and outreach efforts by college of tropical agriculture and human resources in the areas of obesity prevention and children and family resources can improve the health and well-being of Hawaii residents.

The legislature recognizes that poor diet and physical inactivity diminish quality of life and exact huge financial costs. In 2000, the United States spent an estimated $117,000,000,000, nearly ten per cent of the United States health care expenditure, on obesity and its complications. Diseases related to obesity--heart disease, cancer, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes--are the main killers of our era. Obesity and its related diseases are very common among native Hawaiian and pacific islander populations: the 2001 Hawaii health survey found almost sixty-five per cent of Native Hawaiians to be obese, and a recent nutritional assessment by college of tropical agriculture and human resources in American Samoa found that fifty-five per cent of children ages five to ten have elevated cholesterol and nine per cent have elevated blood sugar levels, a marker for type II diabetes. The poor success rate of conventional weight loss programs has led health professionals to recognize the benefits of community-based lifestyle approaches that respect pacific island cultures. There is evidence that modern lifestyles and diets contribute to obesity and that returning to cultural roots improves the diet and health of pacific peoples.

The legislature finds that the college of tropical agriculture and human resources is well positioned to address this critical public health issue. The college has a statewide network of research and agricultural facilities, works closely with colleges of agriculture throughout the United States-affiliated Pacific, and has active research and outreach programs in:

(1) Obesity prevention and weight management;

(2) Nutritional properties of tropical plants and foods of the pacific region;

(3) New food products and recipes; and

(4) Tropical food production.

A cornerstone of the college's expanded obesity prevention program will be the establishment of community gardens to grow tropical fruits, vegetables, and starchy root and tree crops important to pacific peoples. The gardens will be a venue for physical activity to manage weight. They will also provide a site for hands-on education and training programs, often adjacent to Hawaiian homestead properties. Finally, they will increase for local schools the availability of food that will improve children's dietary habits and prevent obesity. One benefit of this approach is the enhanced food security that will result from greater production and consumption of healthy, safe, locally grown food. Collaborations will be developed with schools and health centers to bring the college's expanded services to individuals with obesity and associated chronic diseases.

The legislature also recognizes the importance of collecting and analyzing data that relate to the well-being of Hawaii's children and families. The legislature finds that the data center of the University of Hawaii's center on the family is a valuable resource for the people of Hawaii and the Pacific basin, houses the most comprehensive collection of data and information on Hawaii's children and families, and is used by public servants and staff (including congresspersons, mayors, legislators, and school administrators), university faculty and students, foundations and grant-making organizations, and the drug prevention community. The data center gathers, analyzes, and presents in user-friendly, web-based formats data from national and state governmental, private, and philanthropic agencies. The information accessible through the data centers web site ( includes:

(1) Data relating to more than one hundred sixty child and family indicators;

(2) Trend data of child and family well-being measures since 1990;

(3) Comparison data by community, county, state, and nation;

(4) Data citations and references;

(5) Descriptions of data and their significance;

(6) Charts, graphs, and geographic information systems maps for some data; and

(7) Links to other data resources.

The legislature finds that the college of tropical agriculture and human resources seeks a stable base of core funding to maintain and expand the ability of the data center to respond to the current and most pressing needs of Hawaii's families. Core funding through the college's budget will do as follows:

(1) Ensure that this world-class resource remains available to policy makers, program directors, service providers, researchers, and students; and

(2) Facilitate expansion of the data center's scope to include the establishment of additional key indicators and data sets relevant to the health, education, and socio-economic well-being of Hawaii's children, families, and elderly residents and the tracking of these indicators over time.

The legislature finds that natural, non-invasive, and less costly clean up methods are needed to effectively and efficiently clean Hawaii's waterways of contaminants. The college of tropical agriculture and human resources is presently engaged in research to explore biological methods for cleaning contaminated waters and sediments ("bioremediation") by utilizing the uptake processes of native plant species, natural microbial processes, or other natural remediation processes.

The legislature finds that the college has submitted a proposal to conduct research and small-scale testing for the treatment of contaminated sediment from local waterways. The proposal includes:

(1) A biotreatability evaluation;

(2) Additional research on the bioremediation of contaminated sediments;

(3) A twelve-month screening program for plant species to remediate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, and heavy metals; and

(4) Small-scale field-testing.

The legislature further finds that the successful completion of research and small-scale testing is essential for the development of full-scale commercial application of bioremediation technologies for the treatment of contaminated sediments in statewide waterways. Performance, operation, and maintenance factors and cost of various biological treatment processes will be identified in the research and small-scale testing phase. The United States Army Corps of Engineers will provide technical assistance in the testing and evaluation effort.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1,750,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, for the following programs, provided that the funds shall be added to the base budget of the University of Hawaii:

(1) $500,000 for the continued development of high-value agricultural products and a breeding program to provide new agricultural products, the assessment of local and export markets, development of industry assessments, disease prevention programs, and other high priority needs;

(2) $250,000 to revitalize Hawaii's beef cattle industry by demonstrating:

(A) Conversion of grazing systems to improved forages to increase production efficiency and product yields; and

(B) Genetic improvement of beef herds and its relationship to food production and quality;

(3) $750,000 to improve nutritional status and decrease obesity among Pacific people and improve Hawaii's food security; and

(4) $250,000 to support the University of Hawaii center on the family's web-based data center and expand the data center's information resources to include additional indicators of the health and well-being of Hawaii's children, families, and elderly.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $500,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, to conduct the following research and testing on sediments from the Ala Wai canal and other waterways statewide:

(1) $50,000 for a biotreatability evaluation;

(2) $350,000 for additional research on contaminated sediments; and

(3) $100,000 for small-scale testing, including:

(A) A twelve-month screening program for plant species to remediate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, and heavy metals; and

(B) Small-scale field-testing.

SECTION 4. As a component of the bioremediation program, the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources shall submit an interim report of the findings from the research and an evaluation of the feasibility of scaling up the technology to the legislature not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2005. The final report shall be submitted upon the completion of the project or not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2006, whichever occurs sooner.

SECTION 5. The sums appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.