Gabbard, Hanabusa Announce Bill to Provide Hawaiʻi with Funding for Floriculture Research

February 27, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC—Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) have introduced the State Assistance for Tropical Floriculture Research Act of 2018 (H.R. 5066) to support floriculture research and development in Hawaiʻi and across the United States. The bill would authorize grants of a minimum of $250,000 annually for selected states to research and develop new and disease resistant varieties of tropical flowers. Hawaiʻi’s floriculture and nursery productsincluding cut flowers, orchids, lei flowers, potted flowering plants, and moreare estimated to be valued at $74.5 million.  

“Floriculture remains one of our most profitable agricultural sectors in Hawaiʻi, supporting hundreds of growers and processors across our islands. The global floriculture market is becoming increasingly competitive, and we must support and empower our local growers.  We also must ensure that our unique flora is protected from invasive species, diseases, and other threats. Our legislation will create opportunities for Hawaiʻi to lead the nation in floriculture research and development now, and for years to come,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“The floriculture and nursery community in Hawaiʻi is an important part of our agriculture industry and serves a global marketplace. The variety and colors of the flowers grown here coupled with the reliable supply created by our hard working growers attracts foreign and domestic customers, helping to showcase Hawaiʻi to the world,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. “We need to support and help diversify our agriculture industry and this bill would help finance important floriculture research. The University of Hawaiʻi’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) regularly works with the Hawaiʻi Floriculture and Nursery Association and the State Department of Agriculture on research and programs and it is important to support that type of collaboration in Hawaiʻi and around the country.”

"The Hawaiʻi Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA) appreciates Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's effort to establish a grant program for research and development of disease resistant varieties of tropical flowers and plants. By directing the Secretary of Agriculture to make grants to State departments of agriculture for this purpose will allow our industry to be more competitive and resilient in the global marketplace," said Eric Tanouye, Hawaiʻi Floriculture and Nursery Association president.

 

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