The efforts to produce Macadamia Nuts in Brazil

by Dan Vallada – Sao Paulo

The macadamia nut has been cultivated in Brazil for four decades. Researchers are trying to increase its productivity and resistance.

The commercial cultivation of macadamia nuts in Brazil is recent, started only 40 years ago and productivity is still low. The country, the seventh in world production (2,400 tonnes in 7 thousand hectares), has about 250 producers, 160 of them in the State of Sao Paulo. The biggest Brazilian harvest happened in 2006, with 3,500 tons. Therefore, technicians and researchers are joining forces to study its varieties, nutrition, genetic improvement and phytosanitary control.

Lawrence Berkeley Lab gets $1.8M for government energy efficiency – San Francisco Business Times

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will help the federal government save energy with expert help paid for by $1.8 million in stimulus funding.

The grants — most of them from the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program — will be spent on advice and assistance to various federal agencies about how to use energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The Department of Defense chipped in $445,000 of the $1.8 million.

Arun Majumdar, who runs the lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, said the money will be spent on “advanced energy assessment tools” to help the agencies improve energy use “for years to come.”

Specifically, this money will pay for help to:

  • Federal data centers for the DOE, the U.S. Marine Corps and the military’s Pacific Command in Hawaii.

Pacific Rim Summit to Highlight Biotechnology Tools for the Green Economy | Reuters

logo_reuters_media_usWASHINGTON–(Business Wire)– Developing and developed countries across the Pacific Rim are adopting biotech solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, efficiently utilize resources, and jumpstart economic growth. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today announced the sessions and speaker presentations to be delivered at the 2009 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy, to be held Nov. 8-11, 2009 in Honolulu.

Federal aquaculture grants being made available to Hawaii farmers | San Francisco Examiner


HONOLULU — Aquaculture farmers in Hawaii are now able apply for federal stimulus money to help offset high feed prices experienced by the industry last year.

The state Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $150,000 as Hawaii’s portion of $50 million feed stimulus funding.

The Hawaii grants are being administered through the state department’s Aquaculture Development Program.

State officials say reimbursement amounts are limited to available funds. That means if the amount of eligible applications exceeds the grant amount available, recipients will receive a prorata adjusted amount.

Federal aquaculture grants being made available to Hawaii farmers | San Francisco Examiner

Industry fights for inspectors –


Agricultural groups fear state layoffs will backlog shipments

By Erika Engle

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 08, 2009

Agricultural industry executives worry that Hawaii businesses will wither on the vine and incoming food will rot on the docks if the state goes through with massive layoffs of agriculture inspectors.

Plans call for laying off 50 of the state’s 78 agriculture inspectors, 64 percent of that specialized work force.

Diminished inspection capacity could also cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year if additional invasive species get established, industry officials say.

State inspectors both certify products to be exported out of Hawaii and inspect food and plants being imported into the state.

Agricultural inspector layoffs slammed – The Maui News


KAHULUI – Environmentalists and farmers lashed out Thursday night at the announced layoffs of state agricultural inspectors, arguing that the move planned by the Lingle administration would uproot efforts to preserve the island’s agricultural industry and pristine environment.

Close to 100 people turned out at a Senate Ad Hoc Committee meeting held in the Maui Waena Intermediate School cafeteria. The crowd applauded those who spoke against the layoffs, some even attacking Gov. Linda Lingle.

County of Hawaii Issues: Emergency Senate Hearing on Dept. of Agriculture layoffs.

From Jeffrey Parker and Masako Cordray Westcott of the Hawaii Agriculture & Conservation Coalition

Emergency Senate Hearing on the Dept of Agriculture layoffs – please testimony today!

Thursday, Sept 3rd, 5-9pm, Maui Waena School, 795 Onehee Ave, Kahului

Sample Testimony

Ag inspector layoff impacts topic of talk – The Maui News


KAHULUI – The Hawaii State Senate Ad Hoc Committee will hold an informational briefing today on how the layoffs of agricultural inspectors will impact Maui.

Coordinated by Maui Sens. Roz Baker, J. Kalani English and Shan Tsutsui, the meeting will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Maui Waena Intermediate School.

The Maui office of the state Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Branch would lose six of 17 positions in layoffs planned for November. Statewide, more than half the department’s agricultural inspectors would be cut.

The head of the Plant Quarantine Branch said last week that the layoffs could mean long delays for imports into the state and could make Hawaii vulnerable to invasive pests.

Similar briefings were held in Kona, Hilo and Honolulu.

County/In Brief – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

Philippines: Banana exports to US seen by next year

This is a terrible time to start importing foreign bananas due to the proposed layoffs of agricultural inspectors. The domestic crop could easily be devastated by invasive pests including banana rasp snail, red palm mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer, banana aphid and the mealybug.

Philippines: Banana exports to US [HAWAII] seen by next year

Local banana producers will likely be able to export fresh bananas to the United States starting next year, an Agriculture official said yesterday.

"I am optimistic that the process in exporting [bananas] would be fast because the banana industry is organized," Joel S. Rudinas, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), told reporters.

"Right now we are in the comment period [proposing procedures to the US Department of Agriculture, or USDA]…until maybe end of August or September," he said, adding that the US banana market is worth over $100 million.

Manila asked Washington in December 2005 to allow fresh banana exports to the US mainland, and followed this request with another in September 2007 to export the same commodity to Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.

Philippines: Banana exports to US seen by next year