Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2019


RE: S.B. No. 1436

S.D. 2

H.D. 1





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committees on Agriculture and Economic Development & Business, to which was referred S.B. No. 1436, S.D. 2, entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to revitalize the agricultural sector of Hawaii's economy through agricultural technology by:


(1) Requiring the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to conduct a study on the feasibility of authorizing DOA to establish and designate agricultural technology zones, specifically in the Kalihi-Palama, Kakaako, Moanalua, and Waianae coast areas and report its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the Legislature prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2020; and


(2) Appropriating funds to DOA to conduct the feasibility study.


The Hawaii State Teachers Association, MetroGrow Hawaii, and Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii supported this measure. DOA, University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH), and a concerned individual submitted comments on this measure.


Your Committees have amended this measure by:


(1) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2150, to encourage further discussion; and


(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.


Your Committees note that, while DOA is supportive of all forms of agricultural production, including small-scale niche operations, it is concerned that the scope of the feasibility study will tax its already limited departmental resources in fulfilling its duties and responsibilities.


The testimony of UH recognizes the many benefits and advantages of growing food under controlled conditions. Its testimony also points out the difficulties that will be encountered, including, the high cost of land, rents, and energy in Hawaii; obtaining the necessary capital investment; and determining the appropriate scale of the operation and the break-even point to generate a profit. Further, the estimates of the current status of individual food imports must be refined to contribute to the selection of crops that should be subjected to the agricultural technology contemplated by the feasibility study. UH concludes that at this point in time, the feasibility study approach to assessing the potential contribution of urban agricultural technology to reach Hawaii's food security goal is appropriate.


As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Economic Development & Business that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1436, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1436, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Economic Development & Business,