Updated: March 28, 2023
Representative Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Sen. Brian Schatz (HI), and Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI) introduced the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative Amendments Act.
The Macadamia Tree Health Initiative Amendments Act seeks to amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act by expanding high-priority research and extension grants. This would effectively:
- Develop and disseminate 15 science-based tools and treatments to combat plant pests and noxious weeds that impact macadamia trees;
- Establish an areawide integrated pest management program in areas affected by, or areas at risk of being affected by, invasive plant pests or noxious weeds;
- Survey and collect data on macadamia tree production and health;
- Investigate macadamia tree biology, immunology, ecology, genomics, and bioinformatics; and
- Conduct research on various factors that may contribute to or be associated with macadamia tree immune systems, and other serious threats to macadamia trees, including—
- the sublethal effects of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides on beneficial insects and plants to macadamia tree growth; and
- the development of mitigative and preventative measures to improve habitat conservation and best management practices in macadamia tree growing regions.
“I am pleased to introduce this important bill, one of my two inaugural bills in Congress, to expand research and funding that will help macadamia nut tree farmers fight invasive pests, combat diseases, adapt to changing weather patterns, and strengthen the industry,” said Rep. Jill Tokuda. “Macadamia nuts were first planted in Hawaiʻi in 1881 and have become a signature crop that Hawaiʻi is known for around the world. Facing ever increasing threats, this bill will ensure that the industry is well-supported and contributing to our local economy for years to come.”
“Now in my third term on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to partner with my Hawai‘i Congressional delegation colleagues to secure millions of dollars in federal research funding for Hawaiʻi’s unique high-value tropical specialty crops like macadamia nuts and coffee,” said Congressman Ed Case. “While this funding has helped mitigate the effects of the macadamia felted coccid, coffee berry borer and coffee leaf rust, current law limits the scope of federal research dollars for our crops. This measure will greatly enhance our ability to fund much more comprehensive macadamia nut and coffee research to preserve and grow these invaluable industries.”
“Supporting our local farmers means keeping our agriculture economy and unique crops like macadamia nuts and coffee competitive. Our bill will put more resources into protecting these crops and the farmers and jobs they support,” said Senator Brian Schatz.
“This legislation will build on the Hawaiʻi’s delegation’s work to strengthen research initiatives into threats to our state’s macadamia nut production. Macadamia nuts are an important agricultural product, providing local jobs and bolstering our state’s economy. It is critical that we invest in macadamia nut-related research to ensure we can keep the plants and the industry healthy. I’ll continue to work with my delegation colleagues to push for the inclusion of this legislation in the 2023 Farm Bill,” said Senator Hirono.
Original source: https://mauinow.com/2023/02/10/hawai%ca%bbi-delegation-introduces-bill-to-support-macadamia-tree-health/