Chair Nishihara, Vice-Chair Kouchi, and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports SB524, which makes appropriations to establish an agricultural development and food security program, establish state planning objectives to increase demand and access to locally grown foods, and establish state planning objectives to increase production of locally grown foods.
For more than 20 years, the League of Women Voters has supported a system of sustainable, regenerative agricultural production that moves toward an environmentally sound agricultural sector which includes promoting stewardship to preserve and protect human and natural agricultural resources.
The League believes that if agriculture is to be sustainable and regenerative in Hawaii, given its isolation from the Mainland, it must include increasing production of locally grown foods; encouraging the marketing, purchasing, and consumption of locally grown foods; and supporting an agricultural workforce and infrastructure. Together these efforts will move Hawaii toward more of a self-sufficient future.
The League believes that SB524 is an important step to that end and urges you to pass this bill. Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony.