STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1544
RE: H.B. No. 871
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 871, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish an agricultural enterprise program within the Department of Agriculture to promote and support diversified agriculture and increase the State's agricultural self-sufficiency.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Authorizes the Department of Agriculture or its lessees to plan, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair, demolish, and remove infrastructure and improvements on any lands under the Department's jurisdiction to support and promote agriculture;
(2) Requires the Department of Agriculture to administer an agricultural enterprise program to manage, under rules adopted by the Board of Agriculture, qualifying agricultural enterprise lands and agricultural enterprises transferred from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; and
(3) Establishes the agricultural enterprise special fund.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; University of Hawaii; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association; East Oahu County Farm Bureau; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; Hawaii Food+Policy Internship Program; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council; Local Food Coalition; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Ulupono Initiative; Kalera, Inc.; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; AG Matters, LLC; and eight individuals.
Your Committee finds that the agriculture industry must adapt to rapid developments in agricultural technology and methodology in order to meet the food sustainability goals of the State. Your Committee further finds that the flexibility provided by this measure to the Department of Agriculture in its disposition of public lands will help to modernize the industry by allowing and promoting innovative approaches that optimize productivity; supporting and promoting agriculture through various means including farmers markets, food hubs, and processing facilities; and fostering agricultural education and training.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 871, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair