STAND. COM. REP. NO. 550
RE: H.B. No. 236
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 236 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COFFEE PEST CONTROL,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to extend the sunset dates for the Pesticide Subsidy Program and Pesticide Subsidy Program Manager position to enable the program to:
(1) Continue assisting coffee growers in responding to the newly discovered coffee leaf rust;
(2) Continue assisting coffee growers in managing the coffee berry borer infestation; and
(3) Add control methods for coffee leaf rust as an eligible reimbursable item.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, University of Hawai‘i System, Rancho Aloha, Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Kona Coffee Farmers Association, and six individuals.
Your Committee finds that the coffee berry borer, an invasive beetle, has been found on all islands in the State. In 2020, coffee leaf rust was discovered for the first time in the State on the islands of Maui and Hawaii. Your Committee further finds that these two pests threaten the viability of the State's entire coffee industry, which represents one of the largest agricultural crops in the State and is a highly valued part of Hawaii's economy. The two-year extension of the Pesticide Subsidy Program and Pesticide Subsidy Program Manager position proposed by this measure will allow the State to continue to subsidize the cost of pesticides best shown to combat coffee berry borers and coffee leaf rust, thus incentivizing coffee growers to adopt recommended pest management strategies.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 236 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
MARK J. HASHEM, Chair