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Amata takes part in effort by seven island representatives urging House to support crop diversity

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Rep. Aumua Amata
Source: Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s D.C. staff

Washington, D.C. —  Congresswoman Aumua Amata took part in an effort on Friday led by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and supported by the bipartisan Members of Congress from Hawai‘i and the U.S. Island Territories. Together, these Representatives sent a letter to U.S. House leaders urging them to support local crop diversity and food security in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis and in any resulting legislation.

The letter provides a comprehensive outline of the need U.S. islands face, as well as how COVID-19 relief can be improved to address food security issues and needs.

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront unique food security challenges that must be confronted by Hawai‘i and the U.S. Territories, many of which are unlike those faced by the 48-contiguous states.

“Only Alaska has a similar disparity between where their food is produced and eventually consumed, however food production is not possible in most areas of that state, while the opposite is true in Hawai‘i and other U.S. Islands.

“Arable land is readily available in most locations, water plentiful, and soil fertility and drainage highly conducive to a wide variety of crop production systems. Difficulties, however, exist as the majority of the U.S. Island agriculture operations are small, family-run farms typically isolated from other farms and supporting research organizations. Thus, landowners and other farm operators often lack the economy of scale afforded to medium and large-scale farm operations in the Mainland U.S,” the Members wrote in their letter to House leaders.”

Signers also include Rep. Gregorio Kilili Sablan (CNMI), Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Rep. Stacey Plaskett (USVI), Rep. Michael San Nicolas (Guam), and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (PR).

Download attachment for full text of the letter.