Coffee bean quarantine considered because of pest

HONOLULU (AP) - A public meeting is scheduled to consider establishing quarantine zones on the Big Island to prevent the spread of the destructive coffee berry borer.

The Wednesday meeting by the Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals will gather testimony from the Hawaii coffee industry about a proposal to prohibit the importation of green coffee beans.

The meeting could result in a request to the Board of Agriculture to adopt an interim rule restricting the movement of green coffee beans into the state.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Clift Tsuji says the state's coffee industry has lasted 200 years, and he doesn't want to see it collapse because of a lack of efforts to contain the pest.

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