SENATOR INOUYE ANNOUNCES $5.5 MILLION FOR PACIFIC BASIN AGRICULTURAL

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DAN INOUYE U.S. Senator From Hawai‘i

News Release August 5, 1999

CENTER ON ISLAND OF HAWAI‘I

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye announced that the Senate approved $ 5.5 million for Fiscal Year 2000 to begin construction of the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, Hawai‘i, to be operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. This Center will address the critical research needs of crop production in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, will help farmers prepare these products for local markets or for export, and will develop sanitation methods to meet export requirements.

"I am pleased the Senate recognized that the Pacific Basin is an extremely important region for tropical and subtropical agricultural production, processing and trade, which faces unique challenges that cannot be compared with temperate zone agriculture. In 1998, the Congress directed the Agricultural Research Service to assess the feasibility of expanding its mission in Hawai‘i by establishing a U.S. Basin Agricultural Research Center to serve the state and the entire U.S.-affiliated Pacific Basin. For 1999, $4.5 million was provided for planning and design work. The Center will serve Hawai‘i, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and the other U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, and define this region's role in the U.S. agriculture industry," said Senator Inouye.

"The Island of Hawai‘i and its economy will certainly benefit from this initiative, allowing for new and exciting job opportunities on the Big Island. Additionally, the agriculture industry for the entire state will be supported by the highest levels of agricultural research available," continued Inouye.

In addition to the $5.5 million in construction funds, the Senate added another $500,000 to the program base of the Center to support production of high-quality, high-value crops, to develop effective pest management strategies, and to facilitate transfer of new technologies and science to farmers in Hawai‘i.

This initiative is included in the Fiscal Year 2000 Agriculture Appropriations bill which will now face a joint House-Senate Conference and final House and Senate votes before its transmittal to the White House.

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