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U.S. Congress to grant another $1 million to fight coffee berry borer in Hawaii, Puerto Rico

Hawaii’s congressional delegation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday the grant of another $1 million, to be shared with Puerto Rico, to fight the coffee berry borer, the invasive beetle that for four years has been ravaging the Big Island, and more recently, Oahu.

The Areawide Mitigation and Management for Coffee Berry Borer Control funding is in addition to $1.8 million previously allocated to Hawaii last year, reports West Hawai today.

The money will be used to continue research into eradication and control.

It is still unclear how much of the money is coming to Hawaii and how much goes to Puerto Rico, said Scott Enright, chairman of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

He said the money will go first to Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, known as PBARC, and then some will be sent to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The borer is an insect native to Central Africa that lives, feeds and reproduces in both immature and mature coffee berries. It can do significant damage to the quality and quantity of coffee crop yields.