Department of Agriculture Aims to ʻMaintain Critical Servicesʻ

March 21, 2020, 9:55 AM HST · Updated March 21, 9:55 AM
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Fireweek, photo courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) officials say they will try to “maintain as many critical services as possible during the State’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.”

On Tuesday, Gov. Ige announced emergency actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the State of Hawaiʻi and ordered non-essential state workers to not report to work from March 20 to at least April 3. Consequently, some services provided by HDOA may be temporarily curtailed.

Although the emergency situation may call for some personnel to stay home, critical services of the department will continue. This includes plant quarantine inspections at the state’s airports and harbors for incoming produce and plant material, rabies quarantine for incoming dogs and cats, and management and monitoring of HDOA reservoirs and irrigations system which are critical for farmers and public safety.

“Whether staff are in the office or working remotely, the department will try its best to provide as much service as possible during this emergency period,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture. “We appreciate the public service spirit of HDOA employees and their willingness to continue operations in critical areas.”

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HDOA offices on O`ahu will try to remain physically accessible to the public; however, the situation may change as the COVID-19 emergency evolves. It is highly recommended that the public call to make an appointment prior to coming to any office.

For neighbor island offices on Maui, Kaua`i and Hawai`i Island; the office doors will be closed beginning March 20th. The public should contact the appropriate office to make appointments ahead of time if they need urgent assistance.

Staff will be available to respond to phone calls and messages at the following phone numbers:

Hilo

  • Plant Quarantine: (808) 974-4141, Air Cargo 961-9393
  • Pesticides: Education (808) 974-4143, or Enforcement 973-9413
  • Plant Pest Control: Chemical/Mechanical (808) 974-4145, Bio-Control 974-4146, Apiary 974-4138, Hawaii Ant Lab 315-5656
  • Agricultural Resource Management: (808) 974-4147
  • Animal Disease Control: (808) 974-6503
  • Quality Assurance: Commodities or Measurement Standards: (808) 974-6514
  • Agricultural Loan Division: (808) 933-9977,
  • Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service: (808) 961-9496
  • General Inquiries: (808) 974-4140

Kona

  • Plant Quarantine: (808) 326-1077
  • Commodities: (808) 323-7589
  • Pesticides: (808) 323-7579
  • Agricultural Loan Division: (808) 323-4571

Maui

  • Animal Disease Control: (808) 873-3559
  • Plant Quarantine: (808) 872-3848
  • Pesticides: Education (808) 873-3078, or Enforcement 973-9413
  • Plant Pest Control: Chemical/Mechanical (808) 873-3080, Bio-Control 873-3949
  • Quality Assurance Division: Commodities (808) 873-3554
  • General Inquiries: (808) 873-3555

Kaua`i

  • Plant Quarantine: (808) 241-7135
  • Pesticides: (808) 241-7134 or (808) 635-8500
  • Plant Pest Control: (808) 241-7132
  • Quality Assurance Division, Commodities Branch: (808) 241-7133
  • General Inquiries (Oahu): (808) 973-9560

To report an illegal animal, contact the State’s TOLL-FREE PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378)

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