In 2004 CTAHR honored
Sen. Inouye with the Ka Lei Hano Heritage Award in
recognition of his unwavering support.
After Statehood, Sen. Inouye helped to guide Hawai‘i through the
many resulting changes. The shift from plantation-based sugar and pineapple
production to diversified crops reshaped the state’s agricultural landscape,
and he provided crucial assistance for each stage of the conversion, helping
displaced workers launch new agribusiness ventures, supporting research and
development to identify novel products and markets, and promoting continued
innovation in Hawai‘i’s established agricultural industries. He recognized and
responded to the state’s unique pest and disease issues with legislation that ensured
the continued availability of needed control measures, encouraged research on
new plant varieties, and addressed the threats posed by invasive species.
Sen. Inouye helped grower Harold Tanouye and his colleagues to
create the Federal Floriculture Research Grant program, whereby the floral
industry provided direct input on necessary research areas. The program funded
high-priority CTAHR research projects on new anthurium varieties, dendrobium
orchids, and protea. It allowed research on weed control and other important
Working with Sen. Inouye’s office, USDA’s Agricultural Research
Service secured funding for research into virus-resistant papaya,
nematode-resistant pineapple, sustainable methods of fruit fly control, and
other crop-related and environmental studies done by CTAHR’s researchers, and Sen.
Inouye and his staff worked tirelessly to see that Hawai‘i received the federal
support necessary for this important sector of our economy to thrive.
Termite-control research encouraged by the Senator resulted in statewide
application of methods to protect homes more effectively with less pesticides.
He also had a strong impact on the development of the USDA’s Pacific Basin
Agricultural Research Center (PBARC), which focuses on crop productivity and
In 1986 Sen. Inouye
helped to make one of the most important contributions to Hawai‘i’s aquaculture
industry, working with such CTAHR administrators and faculty as Dr. Chauncey Ching
to establish the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture, jointly
administered by UH and the Oceanic Institute and the first of 5 aquaculture
regional centers in the U.S. Today, in an era of increasing concern about food
security and eating local, Hawai‘i’s consumption of locally raised freshwater
and saltwater seafood is higher than it’s ever been since Statehood, and CTAHR’s
researchers and outreach specialists are at the forefront of that expansion.