THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2934

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The 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 market.

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.

SECTION 2. 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.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Cooperative Extension Division; Strategic Plan; Organic Family Farms; Appropriation

 

Description:

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.