Hawaii bill would eliminate agribusiness development group

Local News

HONOLULU (AP) — A bill in the Hawaii Legislature would disband the state’s Agribusiness Development Corporation and transfer its resources to the state Department of Agriculture.

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The state created the agency in 1994 to help convert former pineapple and sugar plantation land into economically viable farms that would produce a broad range of products.

The agency owns and manages 23,000 acres of land and irrigation systems, mostly on Kauai and Oahu.

But a recent state audit concluded the agency was “ill-equipped and struggling” to effectively manage its lands. The agency’s leader Jimmy Nakatani says the bill is drastic and unwarranted.

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