THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

206

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THAT A WORKING GROUP BE CONVENED TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS TO FACILITATE HOMESTEAD AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS IN THE STATE.

 

 


     WHEREAS, according to the 2019 Department of Hawaiian Home Lands' most recent annual report, there are four hundred twenty-seven existing lease awards for agricultural or pastoral lands on the island of Molokai, and forty-seven existing lease awards for agricultural or pastoral lands on the island of Kauai; and

 

     WHEREAS, there are 1,314 native Hawaiian families on the waitlist for agricultural or pastoral lease awards for the island of Molokai, and there are 2,585 native Hawaiian families on the waitlist for agricultural or pastoral lease awards for the island of Kauai; and

 

     WHEREAS, the foregoing statistics do not include residential lease awards; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations and its Mokupuni leaders are pursuing homestead agricultural demonstration projects to seed successful farming and ranching initiatives on native Hawaiian trust lands managed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; and

 

     WHEREAS, the purpose of the homestead agricultural demonstration project is to assist farmers and ranchers in reaching greater levels of agricultural production at the planting, harvest, and market stages; access initial private capitalization; and obtain technical support; and

 

     WHEREAS, the homestead agricultural demonstration project seeks to support relevant, non-invasive agricultural means to farm, harvest, and market agricultural products, which may include food products for human consumption or appropriate grass products targeted at cattle feeding needs within the State or applicable areas; and

 

     WHEREAS, due to economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the homestead agricultural demonstration project endeavors to mitigate front-end economic risk to participating farmers and ranchers and increase economic opportunity on the back-end sale of products in the marketplace to establish a sustainable small-farm business plan that can be replicated on homesteads on other islands; and

 

     WHEREAS, the homestead agricultural demonstration project requires strategic collaboration among the Homestead Community Development Corporation, Hawaiian Lending and Investments (which are both under the control of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations), Kamehameha Schools, and the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the to:

 

     (1)  Enroll at least four existing Hawaiian home lands farm or ranch lessees on to the homestead agricultural demonstration project;

 

     (2)  Establish a low-cost financing or equity investment pool for project participants;

 

     (3)  Establish technical agricultural support services to assist project participants;

 

     (4)  Establish a learning cohort of farm and ranch lessees and relevant organizations to support full project implementation and publish a demonstration project report of the results, solutions, and challenges of the project; and

 

     (5)  Obtain project-implementation assistance from governmental agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the counties; and

 

     WHEREAS, the purpose of the homestead agricultural demonstration project is to create homestead-based economic development in livestock ranching and provide supportive paniolo workforce housing rentals; and

 

     WHEREAS, the homestead agricultural demonstration project endeavors to create an appropriately-sized, ranching-based economy and jump-start greater participation in ranching by establishing a one hundred-acre cattle and stabling initiative, on Hawaiian home lands that are designated for commercial use, and supporting homestead families in the region; and

 

     WHEREAS, due to the severe lack of affordable housing for young, typically single, ranching (paniolo) talent, the homestead agricultural demonstration project further seeks to support an agriculture-based economy by developing up to twenty farm and ranch worker rental units consisting of one-bedroom and studio units on three acres of Hawaiian home lands licensed to a homestead association with ready access to roads, water, utilities, and financing; and

 

     WHEREAS, the homestead agricultural demonstration project is intended to be replicated on other islands' homesteads; and

 

     WHEREAS, the homestead agricultural demonstration project requires strategic collaboration among the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, Homestead Community Development Corporation, Hawaiian Lending and Investments, Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate, and the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources:

 

     (1)  Obtain from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands a month-to-month revocable permit on the relevant one hundred acres of Hawaiian home lands for a Hawaiian homestead association (which is a member of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations) to complete relevant processes relating to due diligence, feasibility, ranching, and commercial purposes;

 

     (2)  Obtain from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands the approval to revise an existing thirty-five year license on ten acres of Hawaiian home lands held by the Hawaiian homestead association for economic purposes, specifically to authorize residential rental units for farm and ranch working housing;

 

     (3)  Establish technical livestock ranching support services to assess feasibility and develop a business plan with financial pro forma on the development project components;

 

     (4)  Establish a learning cohort of farming and ranching families and relevant organizations to support full project implementation and publish a demonstration project report of the results, solutions, and challenges of the project;

 

     (5)  Close on conventional interim construction and long-term take-out financing on the farm and ranch worker housing component; and

 

     (6)  Obtain project-implementation assistance from governmental agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, and the counties; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, or the Chairperson's designee, is requested to convene and serve as the chair of a Homestead Agricultural Demonstration Projects Working Group; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following or their designees are requested to serve as members of the Homestead Agricultural Demonstration Projects Working Group:

 

     (1)  The Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture;

 

     (2)  The Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources;

 

     (3)  The Dean and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources;

 

     (4)  The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation;

 

     (5)  The Mayor of each of the counties;

 

     (6)  The Chairperson of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations;

 

     (7)  The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Kamehameha Schools; and

 

     (8)  Other stakeholders who may be invited by the chair of the working group; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to consider and develop recommendations to facilitate the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations' homestead agricultural demonstration projects; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to submit its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be dissolved on June 30, 2022; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Dean and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, Mayor of the County of Maui, Mayor of the County of Kauai, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, Chairperson of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Estate of Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

Report Title:

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Agriculture; Projects; Working Group