STAND. COM. REP. NO. 363
RE: S.B. No. 261
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Higher Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 261 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Appropriate funds for the GoFarm Hawaii program; and
(2) Require the GoFarm Hawaii program to provide the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture with the program's annual goals and a semi-annual report outlining program outputs and outcomes.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; University of Hawai‘i System; Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety; Ulupono Initiative; North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership; Down to Earth Organic and Natural; Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Producers Cooperative; Americans for Democratic Action Hawai‘i; Counter Culture Organic Farm; Farm Link Hawaii; Hoalahou Farm LLC; The Kohala Center; Hilo Sun Farms; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council; Regenerations Botanical Garden; Sweetbreads, LLC; Lokoea Farms; Rainbow Farms; Kaiona Farms Waialua; Tiny Aina Farm; ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea; East Kauai Soil and Water Conservation District; Hawaii Agriculture Research Center; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Our Revolution Hawaii; Nui Na Lima Farm LLC; and twenty-two individuals.
Your Committees find that about eighty-five to ninety percent of Hawaii's food is imported, which makes Hawaii particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and global events that disrupt shipping and other modes of transporting food. Additionally, because a high percentage of the food consumed in the State is imported, billions of dollars of food expenditures leave the State each year. To ensure continued interest in farming as a profession, support is needed to develop financially viable agricultural operations through programs like the GoFarm Hawaii program, which improves food security and self-sufficiency. This measure supports the GoFarm program to encourage more people to develop financially viable farming operations that will increase local food production and provide sustainable agriculture in Hawaii.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Higher Education that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 261 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Higher Education,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair