The Hawai‘i County Department of Research & Development is inviting all commercial farmers who grow and sell agricultural products including organic, conventional and genetically modified crops to complete a new county agricultural registration form.
“This new registration system will allow the county to identify and better support commercial agricultural activities across the island,” said Laverne Omori, director of the Research & Development department.
The department plans to use the new registration program to identify the crops being grown, the locations of those farming activities, and the owners of the lands that are being farmed. It will help the county to accurately inventory all commercial farming activities to help assess the strengths and needs of the agricultural community, and to identify areas where additional federal, state or county investment may be necessary to assist farmers.
The registration form meets the requirements of the newly adopted Chapter 14, Article 22, Section 14-133 of the Hawai‘i County Code, which requires registration of genetically modified crops by March 5, 2014.
There is no cost for registration. The new ordinance establishes a $100 registration fee for genetically modified crops, but the county is waiving all fees for all farmers who register.
The registration form with instructions is available online at hawaiicounty.gov/online-services, or at the Department of Research & Development’s offices in the Hawai‘i County Building in Hilo or the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona.
For more information or assistance with the registration process, call the Department of Research & Development at (808) 961-8366.