Bill Text: HI SB265 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating To ulu.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-22 - Referred to AEN/HRE, WAM. [SB265 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SB265-Introduced.html

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

265

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ULU.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  Hawaiian breadfruit (ulu) has a long history in Hawaii as a significant and culturally important food source.  This illustrious history includes a period during which breadfruit played a significant role in providing the annual production of millions of pounds of nutritious food that sustained the population across the islands.  Research has shown that the district of Kona alone produced approximately twenty to forty million pounds of breadfruit annually on ten thousand acres of land.  Breadfruit is believed to have arrived in the Hawaiian islands approximately seven hundred years ago.  Since its introduction to Hawaii, breadfruit has consistently contributed to and enhanced the Hawaiian traditional diet, culture, and lifestyle.  Its distinctive beauty, mythical origins, historical, cultural, religious, and social significance, and the diversity of its forms in traditional methods of food production have all contributed to the legacy of breadfruit in the Hawaiian heritage and culture.  This significant presence and abundance illustrates how breadfruit flourishes in modernity as the contemporary manifestation of Hawaii Nei.

     Several factors over the past decade have demonstrated that breadfruit consumption and research are growing in relevance, including the availability of large numbers of breadfruit trees, expansion of the gluten-free market, confirmation of value in breadfruit by-products, and increasing market movement toward locally grown food.  For the first time in the technological era, breadfruit has the potential to become a major commercial crop, while remaining closely connected to traditional Hawaiian, Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian values.

     Hawaii is poised to be a global leader in breadfruit research and development.  Significant global resources exist for breadfruit in Hawaii, including the largest conservation effort of breadfruit agrobiodiversity by the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, significant product research and development by the University of Hawaii, statewide research efforts on breadfruit agronomy and cropping systems through the college of tropical agriculture and human resources, Pacific-wide relationship and development efforts through the Pacific business center program at the Shidler school of business administration, and cooperative development structures and processing infrastructure as seen in the Hawaii Ulu Producers Cooperative.  Dozens of other small breadfruit producers around the State make diverse products such as chips, hummus, pies, and baking mixes.  Additionally, a growing number of restaurants, distributors, and retail vendors are carrying breadfruit products.  These are real economic and social impacts for Hawaii, representing dozens of jobs, local produce and products, and infrastructure for broader agricultural development.  For instance, the Hawaii Ulu Producers Cooperative has grown to represent over seventy farmers in just two years, hired ten employees, been a key supplier to the department of education's aina pono program, and developed processing capabilities that have expanded to include additional crops.

     More support is needed to utilize the projected increase in breadfruit production.  A recent statewide survey indicates that there are over nine thousand breadfruit trees planted, with more trees expected to be planted, yet only approximately one thousand five hundred trees are currently productive in commercial settings.  Thus, the state commercial production of breadfruit is expected to increase at least six-fold in the coming years.  Some investments into breadfruit research and development have occurred, but additional research, outreach, and education are required to develop sustainable breadfruit production methods, postharvest handling, processing and refinement, manufacturing methods, scalable flour mill design, packaging, market product development and testing, distribution, and regional sustainable capacity for supply for breadfruit products.  In order to realize the vast potential of breadfruit to serve as a major contributor to local food and food security, support for the burgeoning industry is needed.

     A conservative estimate of $2,000,000 per year of farm-gate value, e.g., two million pounds of fruit per year, is anticipated within five years, with an additional four‑to‑eight‑fold impact on economic development coming from processing, marketing, and distribution of the fruit.  The global gluten-free market was valued at $14,940,000,000 in 2016 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.3 per cent from 2017 to 2025, illustrating the potential external market for breadfruit.  Furthermore, the profit projected from processing and marketing the breadfruit flower as an organic insecticide is estimated to exceed the million dollar mark, due to the far more potent repellant nature of the breadfruit flower, which contains a natural tri-chemical compound combination that outperforms its synthetic competitors.

     The economic potential for the processing, refinement, packaging, and exporting of breadfruit products for the state and national market is substantial considering the general employment and economic benefits to the State.  Furthermore, as one of the leading breadfruit locations on the planet, Hawaii has the opportunity to be a global leader in breadfruit research and development, thus creating a niche role for itself as the breadfruit industry grows exponentially.

     The purpose of this Act is to make an appropriation to the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources for the research, development, marketing, and conservation of breadfruit.  The University of Hawaii has initiated a vibrant breadfruit research program that is well-positioned to execute the objectives of this Act.

     SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the research, development, marketing, and conservation of breadfruit as follows:

     (1)  Performing production-based research for farmer support into essential aspects of nutrient management for tree performance and yield;

     (2)  Performing processing-based research to support post-processing and the development of new breadfruit products;

     (3)  Providing consumer education to aid in the continued growth of the market demand; and

     (4)  Ancillary support for producers, processors, and consumers such as tree production, trainings, technical expertise, and consumption guides.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the college of tropical agriculture and human resources at the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Agriculture; Breadfruit; Ulu; University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Appropriation

 

Description:

Appropriates funds for the research, development, marketing, and conservation of ulu.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

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