Subsidy Program to Combat Coffee Berry Borer Signed Into Law

Coffee growers to receive direct financial assistance to control infestation

House Bill 1514, a measure introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen (District 6-Kailua Kona, Holualoa) to combat the devastating effects of the coffee berry borer (CBB) infestation, was signed into law today by Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The law creates a five-year subsidy program under the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to grant subsidies for coffee farmers to assist in offsetting the costs of combating the coffee berry borer beetle. The law also includes $500,000 in funding for the program.

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

“Subsidy programs like this have helped in other coffee-growing regions to provide an incentive for farmers to adopt best practices, and I’m hopeful that it will do the same in Kona.  Direct assistance from the State is critical for our coffee farmers, and this bill accomplishes that,” said Rep. Lowen.

Under the program, a single coffee farmer may receive reimbursement for the expense of the organic fungus used to control the pest of up to $600 per year per acre of land in coffee production, but not more than $9,000 per year. The legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2014.

In recent years the coffee berry borer beetle has become a major threat to Hawaii’s coffee industry, which is responsible for $30 million in revenue annually.  Past efforts by Representative Lowen have provided additional funds of $800,000 funds to help mitigate and study the infestation. This program will further help protect and maintain Hawaii’s coffee industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I do this to keep the spammers away * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.