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USDA Provides $3.1 Million to Hawaii to Support Projects that Protect Agriculture and Natural Resources

Media Contacts:
Abbey Powell, 301-851-4054
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2019 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $3.1 million to Hawaii as part of its effort to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation, and to safeguard the U.S. nursery production system. Overall, USDA is providing $66 million in funding this year to support 407 projects in 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. USDA provides this funding under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721.

“Hawaii is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “With this funding, Hawaii will be able to better protect its own resources, and, in doing so, contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agriculture economy healthy and strong.”

These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including the following:

  • $1.3 million to support coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) eradication activities in Hawaii;
  • $458,608 to help more accurately identify harmful, exotic Bactrocera fruit fly species;
  • $260,815 to develop and implement genetic and physical pest management approaches for responding to CRB infestations;
  • $175,000 to develop best management practices for enhancing plant quarantine security among Hawaii's tropical flowers and foliage production systems;
  • $144,500 for next generation x-ray equipment supporting Hawaii pre-departure agricultural inspections of commercial air passengers;
  • $121,385 in support of a canine detection program for CRB in Hawaii;
  • $103,267 to develop molecular methods to detect Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and X. oryzae pv. oryzicola at po, which causes a serious blight of rice;
  • $100,000 to detect and reduce major agricultural pest snails in farms and gardens through community outreach and surveys.
  • $86,593 for Hawaii to host a multistate priority palm pest strategic planning summit; and
  • $56,749 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and sweet potato.

Since 2009, USDA has supported 2,346 projects and provided approximately $293.5 million in funding under the Plant Protection Act. Collectively, these projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive pests and diseases. They also help our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to make sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.

You can view the FY 2019 Plant Protection Act Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.

APHIS created the Hungry Pests public outreach program to empower Americans with the knowledge they need to leave these "hungry pests" behind. Visit www.aphis.usda.gov/hungrypests to learn more about invasive plant pests and diseases impacting your area and how you can help.

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