STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1370

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.C.R. No. 246

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 246 entitled:

 

"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THAT A WORKING GROUP BE CONVENED TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING THE REVITALIZING ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to request that a working group be convened to develop recommendations for implementing the Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership Initiative.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Kamehameha Schools, Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness Development Corporation, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

 

Your Committees find that the State's Aloha+ Challenge local food goal was informed by stakeholder and community input to the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan, which identified doubling local food production by 2030, so that at least twenty to thirty percent of food consumed is grown locally. For Hawaii to achieve food and energy security, farming needs to be profitable; practical and a vital component of economic and environmental recovery; and remain a priority to achieve food and energy security. The Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership (REAL) initiative empowers Hawaii farmers to become self-sustaining, for-profit businesses with industry partners; provides market connections to attract capital assets to the State; facilitates access to a sustainable food supply and feedstock for ranching; promotes clean energy and environmental conservation; and provides jobs for skilled agricultural technology workers. The REAL initiative is stabilizing Hawaii's small farming businesses impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

Therefore, your Committees find that a REAL working group is needed to jump-start Hawaii's agricultural economy through cost-effective agriculture that stabilizes Hawaii's economy by connecting farming and ranching and keeping revenue flowing in the State; coordinate farmers and ranchers to revitalize fallow and unproductive agricultural and pastoral lands and increase production capacity; and provide technical assistance in building communities of practice and provide workforce training in agricultural technologies, sciences, marketing, and brand thought leadership.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Removing references to "restorative agriculture";

 

(2) Removing references to the timeline of the REAL initiative;

 

(3) Providing the composition of the REAL initiative members; and

 

(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Hawaiian Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 246, as amended herein, and recommend its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 246, S.D. 1.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Hawaiian Affairs,

 

________________________________

MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair