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Posted: Thursday, June 27th, 2013 2:51 PM HST

Hawaii governor signs 7 agricultural bills

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says Hawaii's agriculture industry is set to establish a strong position in world markets with new legislation for farmers statewide.

Abercrombie signed seven agriculture-related bills during a ceremony at the Hawaii Capitol on Wednesday.

The new legislation includes money to fight coffee berry borer infestations, funds for the Future Farmers of America program and an expansion of subsidies for livestock feed.

Another bill authorizes the state's housing programs to develop incentives for housing projects that incorporate urban gardening programs.

Other bills fund improvements to irrigation systems and expand building permit exemptions for commercial farms and ranches.

Abercrombie says he is most enthusiastic about appropriating $75,000 to the Education Department for the farmers program. He says it's a down payment for the program to prove itself.

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