Arkansas Sets sights on China Rice Trade

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Negotiations in China could open the door to a new line of export for Arkansas rice farmers.

Greg Yielding, executive director of the Arkansas Rice Growers Association, says opening the door for U.S. rice exports to China is expected to top the agenda during negotiations in Shanghai on Monday and Tuesday between officials from U.S. and Chinese food-inspection agencies.

Arkansas farmers lead the nation in rice production. They could tap a niche market in a huge and expanding economy in the country of 1.3 billion people. Yielding says agricultural officials say they see no reason why the Chinese would not open up the market.

In May, the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service outlined safety protocols at the request of the Chinese government. --- Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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