THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

640

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 outside the State to feed Hawaii's population.

The legislature also 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.

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. Through the program, the department of agriculture can invest in agricultural producers to support the State's economy and alleviate financial strains on 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) Moneys in the program shall be awarded as matching grants to:

(1) Increase agricultural production or processing capacity;

(2) Acquire real property for agricultural production or processing activities;

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

(4) Purchase equipment necessary for agricultural production or processing activities;

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

(6) Promote and market agricultural products grown or raised in the State;

(7) Convert 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 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; provided that no funds shall be made available under this Act unless the department of agriculture obtains twenty-five per cent matching funds from federal, private, or other sources.

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

SECTION 4. The appropriations made in section 3 of this Act shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal years for which the appropriations were made; provided that all moneys from the appropriations unencumbered as of June 30, 2026, shall lapse as of that date.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Hawaii Agricultural Investment Program; Department of Agriculture; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the Hawaii Agricultural Investment Program to support local agricultural producers. Requires annual reports to the Legislature. 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.