SB 2218, SD1 – RELATING TO A FOOD HUB PILOT PROGRAM – Requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a five-year food hub pilot program to increase access to local food. Provides for the award of grant funding to qualified applicants wishing to establish or expand a food hub. Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds for the Honalo Marshalling Yard. Requires reports to the Legislature. Appropriates funds. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)
SUPPORTIVE TESTIMONY: The Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a 501(c)(5) agricultural advocacy nonprofit representing a network of over 2,500 family farmers and their supporters across the Hawaiian Islands. This bill will provide support for the network of food hubs across the state to expand their work, and in doing so increase farmer incomes and consumer food access. For these reasons we strongly support SB2218.
In 2017, the Legislature awarded the Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation a Grant in Aid project to Strengthen Regional Food Hubs in Hawai’i. As part of that project, the coordinator, Dr. Saleh Azizi facilitated a focus group, composed of the majority of Hawaiʻi’s food hubs, to understand the resources needed for food hubs to respond to statewide local food purchasing goals. The focus group findings resulted in a 2020 Food Hub Pilot program bill to support existing and new food hubs in all of Hawaii’s counties.
Food hubs play a critical role in our food system by connecting small farmers with diverse markets. In decades past, farmer cooperatives were a strong tool for smallholders to get to market. Food hubs are a modern approach to revitalize farmer cooperation and expand market access. Support of this bill will expand the critical work of food hubs and build a stronger local food economy. Mahalo for the opportunity to testify.
SB2990 SD1 HD1- TO SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE – Establishes a cover crop reimbursement pilot program to provide up to 75 per cent cost reimbursement to farming operations in the State for the acquisition of cover crop seeds, green manure, or compost. Requires the convening of a review panel to screen and rate applicants on the quality of their cover crop, green manure, and composting practices. Establishes a cover crop reimbursement pilot program manager position within the department of agriculture to administer the program. Requires reports to the legislature. Appropriates moneys. Effective 7/1/2050. (HD1)
Hearing notice: SB2990 cover crop seed hearing 4/1 @1:30 by FIN
The Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a 501(c)(5) agricultural advocacy nonprofit representing a network of over 2,500 family farmers and their supporters across the Hawaiʻian islands. HFUU strongly supports SB2990 to incentivize cover crop adoption.
HFUU supports this program as means to support small and family farmers as well as any producer seeking to support their soil health. By reimbursing up to 75 cents per cost to farming operations in the state for the acquisition of cover crop seeds, green manure, or compost, farmers can better produce quality crops and soil.
Mahalo for the opportunity to testify.
SB2056 SD1 HD1- RELATING TO SOIL CLASSIFICATIONS – Requires the office of planning and sustainable development, in cooperation with the department of agriculture and land use commission, to conduct a study of the suitability of soil classification systems for the regulation of agricultural lands. Requires a report to the legislature. Appropriates funds. Effective 7/1/2050. (HD1)
Hearing notice: SB2056 soil classifications 3/31 @ 1:30 by FIN