THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.
ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
legislature finds that the human-induced global climate crisis requires
thoughtful but bold responses on many fronts to make Hawaii communities
resilient to the impacts of climate change that threaten the very survivability
of these fragile islands. Lest Hawaii
lose its leadership position in meeting the future of labor, justice and
equity, the legislature embraces aloha ‘aina as a green new deal to decarbonize
Hawaii's systems of food, energy, and transportation, and to sequester carbon
through systems of agriculture, waste management and ecosystem restoration. This solid foundation finds synergies with
expanded access to health, housing and education, multiplying good jobs and
ensuring justice and equity for Hawaii's citizens. This measure represents a forward step in
mitigating and adapting Hawaii to inevitable change.
The legislature finds that the importation
of ninety per cent of Hawaii's food supply risks being subject to catastrophe
in the event of a breakdown of shipping service or disruption of harvests and
processing due to extreme climate events.
Hawaii's long supply lines are global, highly dependent on fossil fuels
and lengthy shipping times.
The legislature further finds that while
Hawaii boasts long growing seasons, growing areas representing every known
climatic growing zone, and well-known previous capacity to serve not only its
own entire population but to grow for export, it remains that numerous obstacles
stand in the way of self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs.
The legislature recognizes the
determination of local farmers to do more and to do better, and their need for
assistance to overcome, among many things, obstacles in marketing
infrastructure, expensive soil supplements, invasive species, and pest control.
The legislature finds that the market in
Hawaii is increasingly dominated by high-end customers, especially hotels,
retirees, subsidized military, and more affluent suburbanites, who can support
higher prices from the farm, if local food farmers could get their products to
The legislature finds that among the cost
obstacles to more food self-reliance is the complexity of achieving
certification as "certified organic", a necessarily strict process that
is cost-prohibitive to many family farmers.
The legislature finds that overcoming other
cost barriers to certification as "certified organic" involves
adopting principles of producing and maintaining healthy soil, known as
regenerative farming, which reduces the need for costly soil amendment,
pesticide use, and other staples of large scale commercial farming not practicable
in Hawaii's small scale agriculture, and are in fact disadvantaged by large
scale commercial production which can produce economies of scale but do not or
cannot follow healthy soil principles.
The legislature recognizes that
regenerative agriculture promises the additional benefit of a greatly increased
ability to sequester greenhouse gases in the soil, a benefit to Hawaii and another
gift to the world.
The purpose of this Act is to require the college of tropical agriculture
and human resources cooperative extension division to develop a strategic plan
for actively promoting and supporting the development of small scale certified
organic family farms as a means to create living wage agricultural jobs,
increase food resiliency in the face of catastrophic climate change, and to
demonstrate the critical role regenerative farming practices play in the effort
to reverse global warning.
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $100,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for costs of developing the strategic plan, including the efforts to develop and grow the capacity to deliver appropriate services to family farmers.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii, college of tropical agriculture and human resources cooperative extension for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Cooperative Extension Division; Strategic Plan; Organic Family Farms; Appropriation
Requires the college of tropical agriculture and human resources cooperative extension division to develop a strategic plan for promoting and supporting the development of small scale certified organic family farms. Appropriates money for organic family farm plan development.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.