Senate Approves 34 million for Hawaii Agriculture Projects

press-graphic_1Contact: Peter Boylan/Lori Hamamoto (Inouye) 202-224-3934
Jesse Broder Van Dyke (Akaka) 202-224-6361

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON – Hawaii will receive $34,010,000 for agriculture initiatives this fiscal year including funds to eradicate fruit flies, improve the plight of geographically disadvantaged farmers and expand research, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye and Senator Daniel K. Akaka announced today.

The Senate approved the Conference Report for the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill by a vote of 76 to 22. It will now go to the President for his expected signature.
“Our farmers need all the support the federal government can provide to ensure that our food production and native species are protected,” said Chairman Inouye. “This measure will also fund critical research meant to strengthen our agriculture sector and improve our best practices.”

“This bill will fund programs that meet Hawaii’s unique needs in food and agricultural development, and foster local research that will benefit farmers across the country,” said Senator Akaka. “It includes watershed and flood prevention projects to fight drought on Maui and the Big Island, as well as invasive species control to prevent the spread of termites, brown tree snakes, coqui frogs, and other alien pests and weeds.”

Here are the Hawaii-related agriculture initiatives secured for Fiscal Year 2010:

Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations – $5,050,000
Islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu
This initiative seeks completion of approved projects designed to increase water storage capacity, efficiency of delivery systems, and water conservation in Hawaii: Lower Hamakua Ditch Watershed ($1,800,000), Upcountry Maui Watershed ($2,000,000), Lahaina Watershed ($1,000,000), and the Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed ($250,000).

Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) Construction $5,000,000
– Island of Hawaii
The transformation from large-scale plantation agriculture to a smaller-scale diversified agriculture in Hawaii and the American Pacific requires a strong agricultural research base of support. Completion of the construction of the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center effectively provides this base of research support. This Center effectively complements the research programs provided by the state and territorial entities.

Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture Research (TSTAR) – $3,338,000
Pacific and Caribbean Basins
This project provides research that maintains and enhances production of tropical and subtropical agricultural products, while encouraging agricultural practices that are environmentally acceptable.

APHIS Interline $3,000,000
Islands of Kauai, Maui, Lanai, Hawaii, and Molokai
This initiative provides for preclearance passenger baggage inspection for those interisland passengers departing Lihue, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; Kapalua-West Maui; Lanai City, Lanai; Hilo, Hawaii; Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; and Molokai with subsequent connections.

Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers – Statewide $2,600,000
Authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-234) this initiative improves the ability of geographically disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to compete in interstate and foreign commerce by providing direct assistance to U.S. farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean and Pacific Basins.

Multi-species Sterile Fruit Fly Production Facility – Statewide $2,600,000
The sterile insect technique (SIT) has become the fruit fly eradication tool of choice worldwide, largely in response to public opposition to chemical control. The goal of this project is to design a multi-species sterile fruit fly production facility to provide emergency preparedness for SIT programs as prescribed in the National Incident Management System and to support fruit fly exclusion programs.

Wildlife Services Hawaii $2,230,000
The Wildlife Services (WS) program in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands focuses on the protection of agriculture, public and private properties, natural resources and human health and safety posed by wildlife i.e., hazards to aviation, invasive species and feral animals. This agency fills a void in the Pacific Island area where there is limited expertise available to deal with vertebrate pest problems over large geographical areas. A key part of the operations program of this federal agency is to prevent movement of Brown Tree Snakes (BTS) from Guam to Hawaii.

Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions – Statewide $1,6000,000
The emphasis for this project is focused on building capacity and ownership among Hawaii’s rural agriculture communities including a large number of Native Hawaiian and other traditionally underserved minority populations. These funds are equally divided between Hawaii and Alaska.

Tropical Aquaculture Feeds – Island of Oahu $1,438,000
The purpose of these funds is to restore to Fiscal Year 2009 level for the Pacific Basin Agriculture Research Center to expand its Cooperative Agreement with the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii to develop sustainable feed, fertilizer, and bioenergy products and systems based on Hawaii crop by-products.

Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation – Statewide $1,400,000
The intent of this request is to continue a program to stimulate agricultural development in Hawaii by providing training, management and funding assistance to effectively utilize the resources released by the closure of sugarcane and plantation agriculture. Sustainable development and utilization of natural resources are unique and specific to individual rural communities. The RC&D Councils provide community based leadership to address community specific issues rather than relying on state or federally driven initiatives.

Agriculture Postharvest, Value-added Products, $1,057,000
and Processing Program – Statewide
This initiative will provide farmers and other members of the community with new post harvest methods and technology training to increase produce value, demonstrate value-added possibilities for by-product usage, reduce post harvest or market losses, improve produce marketability, and decrease processing, handling, storage, shipping, or market costs.

Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) $700,000
Staffing – Island of Hawaii
This request is for staffing the completed portion of the PBARC laboratory. With the completion of Phase I construction, it is essential that additional funds be provided to PBARC to begin execution of staffing plans for this new laboratory facility. The two priority areas on the staffing plan are a scientist focused on sustainable and organic agriculture; and, a scientist to develop new value added products, especially as they relate to crops that can be used for feeds and that may be used for biofuels.
Hawaii Agriculture Research Center – Island of Oahu $613,000
The Hawaii Agriculture Research Center uses its sugarcane research capacity to enhance the competitiveness of sugarcane growers in the United States and to support diversification of Hawaii’s agriculture.

Watershed Planning Staff- Statewide $500,000
Staffing funds are needed for a resource conservationist, a hydrologist, an economist, and specialized consultants to address the increased demand for watershed improvement and conservation projects in Hawaii.

Varroa Mite Suppression – Islands of Oahu and Hawaii $469,000
This initiative is to continue comprehensive activities to suppress and limit the varroa mite population on the Island of Oahu and to eradicate population on the Island of Hawaii.

Women in Technology – $400,000
Islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii
This initiative recruits and facilitates more girls/women and underrepresented groups into science, technology engineering and math (STEM) education and careers by addressing rural and cultural barriers that have historically precluded such groups from entering technology based fields.

Agricultural Development in the American Pacific – Statewide $400,000
The initiative is to support food and agricultural science at a consortium of land-grant institutions in the American-Pacific region.

Hawaii Floriculture Development – Statewide $300,000
The purpose of this initiative is to provide research and development to support new and unique cultivars and efficient practices to control growers costs, which is critical to the continued success of Hawaii’s floral and nursery industries.

Pineapple Nematode Control – Statewide $282,000
This initiative would allow the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center to conclude research leading to nematode resistance and flowering control, and to expand the techniques and knowledge obtained from this program to create disease and pest resistance in other tropical crops.

Minor Crop Pest Control – Statewide $247,000
The main goal of this project is to develop economical and environmentally friendly pest and disease management strategies for Hawaii’s economically important and potentially important crops, all classified as minor crops.

Papaya Ringspot Virus – Statewide $233,000
This initiative is to allow the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University to Hawaii to conduct research on the management of papaya diseases and to expand the techniques and knowledge obtained from this program to create disease and pest resistance in other tropical crops such as banana and other tropical crops.

Non-toxic Fruit Fly Control – Statewide $200,000
The objective of this project continues to be development and evaluation of non-toxic, environmentally suitable, and, publicly acceptable technologies and processes for fruit fly control to reduce pest impacts in Hawaii to allow the interstate and international move

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Senate Approves 34 million for Hawaii Agriculture Projects

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