The major goal of this program is to provide for infrastructure and/or technology demonstrations related to infrastructure initiatives to support sustainable development of agricultural products and services in Hawaii. The program seeks to invest in infrastructure improvements or enhancements and/or technology demonstrations related to infrastructure needed to facilitate the current and future economic viability of the agricultural community. The emphasis is on investment in resource systems, services and facilities that are necessary for economic activity rather than on support for specific activities of individual agricultural business enterprises. Sustainable development, in this program, is defined as continued operation and maintenance of the infrastructure improvement or technology demonstration, supported after federal investment from this program ceases, providing incremental revenues, job creation and long-term employment in the community. This program supports development and demonstration activities that result in sustainable economic development under the cooperative management of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture CSREES. The RETAH II Program supports private sector ventures (a consortia of firms or economic development groups) to provide for infrastructure and/or technology demonstrations related to infrastructure initiatives culminating in sustainable development of agricultural products and services in Hawaii. Examples of such projects could include, but are not limited to, water delivery systems; food safety initiatives; community value-added processing facilities; or community marketing initiatives for import substitution. Each application will be evaluated on relevance of the infrastructure being addressed. <P>Principal tasks in support of these objectives include:<OL> <LI> provide investment with existing agriculturally-based consortia resulting in sustainable economic development<LI>establish private-public partnerships to accelerate infrastructure and/or technology demonstrations related to infrastructure initiatives and sustainable development of agricultural products and services in Hawaii<LI>establish a five member private sector oversight committee to define the strategic direction of the program, oversee implementation of the program plan, and make recommendations on investment decisions<LI> provide managerial and administrative support to ensure efficient use of resources and accomplishment of program objectives.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Due to its isolation, rural-urban mix and limited land and fresh water resources, Hawaii is an excellent location to evaluate and demonstrate commercialization of novel agricultural products and services Knowledge gained from research and demonstrations and the technological and educational support generated in the process will greatly condition the successes of commercial ventures focused on agriculturally-based sustainable economic development. The lessons learned from these demonstrations have important public policy implications for the adjustments of United States agriculture to global competition. <P> APPROACH: The primary mechanism used for selecting projects for investment is a competitive project application submitted in response to a Request for Application. Competitive projects applications are defined as those that are consistent with the goal of this program, are clearly written, are complete, are technically sound, contain a sound business plan, make sense from community and environmental perspectives, demonstrate a capacity to comply with federal fund reporting and accountability guidelines, convincingly demonstrate an ability to complete the project as written, possess the financial ability to achieve the program goals and is superior to other applications submitted.