HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

690

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

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 local agriculture is essential to Hawaii. Eighty-five per cent of all food consumed in the State is imported, leaving Hawaii vulnerable to natural disasters and supply chain disruptions. Increasing the amount of food produced locally is key to reducing the need for imported foods.

The legislature further finds that, if left dependent on imports, Hawaii residents will experience greater volatility in the price and availability of food because of the impact of climate change on national and global food production. It can no longer be assumed that there will always be an unlimited supply of affordable food from overseas to feed Hawaii's population.

The legislature recognizes, however, that high costs in the State limit the competitiveness of local agriculture and have undermined efforts to expand local food production. Direct support for local agricultural producers can help overcome the high costs faced by Hawaii's agricultural sector. The creation of an agricultural investment program will allow the department of agriculture to invest in agricultural producers to support the State's economy and alleviate financial strains on the local agricultural sector.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish the Hawaii agricultural investment program to provide a dedicated funding source for the local agricultural sector.

SECTION 2. Chapter 141, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"141-    Hawaii agricultural investment program. (a) There is established within the department of agriculture the Hawaii agricultural investment program.

(b) Subject to legislative appropriation, moneys in the program shall be awarded as matching grants for the following purposes:

(1) The increase of agricultural production or processing capacity;

(2) The acquisition of real property for agricultural production or processing activities;

(3) The improvement of real property, irrigation systems, and transportation networks necessary to promote agricultural production or processing activities;

(4) The purchase of equipment necessary for agricultural production or processing activities;

(5) The conduct of research on and testing of agricultural products and markets;

(6) The promotion and marketing of agricultural products grown or raised in the State;

(7) The conversion of chicken shell egg farm or business operations from caged to cage free operations; and

(8) Any other activities intended to increase agricultural production or processing that may lead to the reduced importation of food, fodder, or feed from outside the State.

(c) The department of agriculture shall establish standards for the awarding of grants through the Hawaii agricultural investment program to include but not be limited to eligibility requirements, criteria for determining grant awardees and amounts, and matching requirements; provided that every $3 of a grant awarded through the program and paid from state funds shall be matched by $1 paid from federal, private, or other sources.

(d) The department of agriculture shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session on the status and progress of existing programs and activities and the status of new programs and activities funded under the Hawaii agricultural investment program. The report shall also include:

(1) An accounting of all moneys expended by the Hawaii agricultural investment program;

(2) Descriptions of the markets targeted for expenditures, including the reasons for selecting those markets;

(3) A discussion of the persons who will be served by the expenditures; and

(4) The specific objectives of the expenditures, including measurable outcomes."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the department of agriculture to establish the Hawaii agricultural investment program to support local agricultural producers.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Hawaii Agricultural Investment Program; DOA; Reports; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the Hawaii agricultural investment program to support local agricultural producers. Requires annual reports. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.