The state House this week passed a bill to appropriate $300,000 to fight the coffee berry borer infestation.
Rep. Nicole Lowen, D-North Kona, introduced HB 353. The funding, if approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, would be combined with $200,000 in matching federal funds, then added to another $530,000 in already appropriated state and federal funds, for about $1 million to be used over the next four years.
“Our farmers need help in dealing with the coffee berry borer beetle before it decimates the Kona coffee industry,” Lowen said. “The final draft we sent over to the Senate provides the industry with the aid it desperately needs in a manner that is fiscally responsible, and I plan to keep working hard to secure additional funds in the future.”