Categorized | Agriculture

Coffee farmers urge state funds to combat CBB

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association has adopted the following resolution:

RESOLUTION Requesting the Hawaii Legislature to Provide Emergency Funding to Mitigate Damage from Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) to Kona Coffee

WHEREAS, the recent identification of CBB on farms in the Kona coffee growing region presents new economic, management and marketing challenges for Kona coffee farmers;

WHEREAS, CBB threatens to negatively impact Kona coffee production that annually brings millions of dollars (more than half of the coffee revenue for the entire State) into Hawaii in the form of income to more than 650 farm families in the Kona region;

WHEREAS, immediate action is required to develop an effective program for mitigating the damaging effects of CBB in the Kona region and to protect the viability of Hawaii’s premier specialty agricultural crop;

WHEREAS, there is an immediate need to draw on the extensive scientific knowledge and practical experience developed in other coffee growing regions in order to create a program to minimize the affects of CBB on Kona coffee farms;

WHEREAS, the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) Cooperative Extension Service agent position for coffee has been vacant for almost a year and that vacancy deprives Kona coffee farmers of valuable technical and advisory support needed to mitigate CBB damage; and

NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Kona Coffee Farmers Association (KCFA) requests that the Hawaii Legislature appropriate $500,000 in emergency funding for UH-CTAHR to

1 — Fund investigative research by UH-CTAHR faculty members, in collaboration with scientists from the USDA’s Pacific Basin Agriculture Research Center in Hilo, into practical techniques developed and used to combat the effects of CBB in other coffee growing regions of the world; and

2 — Hire for a minimum three year term a professional entomologist with biological control experience to be assigned to Kona with responsibility to develop a CBB mitigation program suited for the Kona region; and

3 — Re-instate the Kona Cooperative Extension Service position for coffee with specific responsibility for assisting Kona coffee farmers implement a CBB mitigation program.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of the Resolution shall be provided to members of the Hawaii Legislature, the Governor and Governor-elect, members of the Hawaii Congressional delegation, UH Chancellor, UH-CTAHR Dean, the Hawaii County Mayor and County Council Members, the Director of the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, and Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.

Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association November 16, 2010.

Sandra Scarr, Acting Secretary

— Find out more:
Kona Coffee Farmers Association: www.konacoffeefarmers.org

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