Deal to al­low rice ex­ports to China

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Stephen Steed

Trade of­fi­cials have fi­nal­ized a pro­to­col to al­low for the first-ever ship­ments of U.S.-grown rice to China, the U.S. De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture said Thurs­day in a state­ment.

China is the world’s big­gest rice con­sumer, im­porter and pro­ducer. Arkansas is the nation’s largest rice pro­ducer, with some 1.1 mil­lion acres planted this year.

Jar­rod Hardke, a rice spe­cial­ist with the Univer­sity of Arkansas Sys­tem Di­vi­sion of Agri­cul­ture, said the deal is good news for Arkansas rice farm­ers. “This cer­tainly opens the door for U.S. rice ex­ports to China, but it doesn’t mean the door au­to­mat­i­cally opens and we go in guns blaz­ing and sling­ing rice,” Hardke said.

Chi­nese in­spec­tors will visit rice mills across the nation this year be­fore the deal is com­pleted.

“I have been in the ma­jor­ity of our [Arkansas] rice mills and fa­cil­i­ties, and they do an ex­cel­lent job,” he said. “We have lit­tle reser­va­tion that we will do more than just pass in­spec­tion.”

An­drew Grob­myer, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Agri­cul­tural Coun­cil of Arkansas, praised the agree­ment. “We are re­lieved to have reached this point,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.