November 9, 2010 – KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
As the Big Island of Hawaii celebrated Kona coffee this weekend with a lantern parade, a coffee picking contest for young and old, and the crowning of a new Miss Kona Coffee – Kamehameha Schools graduate Lacy Deniz – state lawmakers are looking for ways to protect the multi million dollar industry from a tiny little bug known as the coffee berry borer.
State Representative Cliff Tsuji is urging persons to provide testimony for next week’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals. They will consider one or more quarantine zones on Hawaii island to prohibit the importation of green coffee beans.
You can e mail or fax in your testimony. The hearing is next Wednesday, November 17th at the Sand Island Plant Quarantitne station conference room on Oahu, and it will explore adopting an interim rule restricting the movement of green coffee beans into the state. The meeting will be held on:
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Place: 1849 Auiki Street, Plant Quarantine Station Conference Room, Sand Island.
Persons wishing to provide testimony may do so in the following ways:
· Via email to: Carol.L.Okada@hawaii.gov
· Via fax to: 808-832-0584
Tsuji, chair of the house committee on Agriculture, said it is imperative that interested parties provide testimony either in person or in writing as this will determine the committee’s recommendation to the Board of Agriculture by the end of the month. Currently, there is no provision in Hawaii Administrative Rules that addresses the coffee berry borer or that restricts movement of coffee relative to this pest.
The coffee berry borer,which infests green beans on the ground, has been confirmed at 21 Kona sites area of the Big Island.
The coffee berry borer lays its eggs in the coffee cherry and as the eggs develop into larva, the larva feed inside the coffee bean. The bean may be further damaged by secondary fungal, bacterial and insect infestation. The combined damage can reduce yield, lower the quality and destroy the entire bean
Of the 6500 acres of coffee farms in the state, more than 2,000 are in the Kona area of Hawaii Island.