A bill requiring at least 10% of state-purchased agricultural produce must be grown or grown locally has been passed by both the State House and the Senate.
House Bill 817, introduced by Rep. Scot Matayoshi (D, Kaneohe-Maunawili-Kailua), is now being forwarded to Governor David Ige’s desk for approval.
The measure aims to ensure that government funds support local farmers, ranchers and other producers directly.
“If our state is really determined to revitalize our agribusiness and diversify our economy, we need to put our money where our mouth is. It starts with supporting the local farmers and freeing our state from our dependence on tourism, ”said Matayoshi.
The legislation, if approved by Ige, would require that at least 10% of agricultural produce purchased from government agencies be locally grown by 2025. This percentage requirement would increase by 8 percentage points every five years to 50% by 2050.
Every foreign ministry would have to submit an annual report to the legislature with the sum of the local products purchased.
“We are seeing the progress made years ago on the path to clean energy,” said Matayoshi. “This bill will put us on a similar path for both our local agribusiness and food security.”
Locally grown produce includes fruits, nuts, coffee, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and poultry.
The governor has not yet indicated whether he will approve or veto the bill.
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