Economist believes Arkansas rice production could soon soar

Economist believes Arkansas rice production could soon soar

(KAIT/TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) - With rice prices recently being on a downward trend in the country's largest rice producing state, the falling prices have caused several farmers to reduce or quit growing the crop.

However, according to one rice economist, he believes a rise in the crop is coming soon.

According to Talk Business & Politics, economist Milo Hamilton spoke to over 370 farmers at Arkansas State University Wednesday to address farmers concerns over rice issues.

He said one reason he predicts rice will be on the rise again is due to more rice being grown in India.

"We're near the turning point on rice," Hamilton said. "The fact is they're growing a lot more rice in India than they should. They're doing it for political reasons. The bottom is going to fall out on them."

Hamilton added with China not importing all the rice that India exports, that causes the global markets to flood, which could prove beneficial in the future.

According to Talk Business & Politics, Hamilton said another issue that will soon plague India is a potential water crisis, one that will likely become worldwide.

With that issue, coupled with the U.S. controlling 40% of the world's fresh water supply and 60% of the navigable rivers, Hamilton said he thinks the U. S. could become a major water exporter at some point.

He added that right now, most of the major rice production occurs in the Eastern Hemisphere, but said that production could shift in the future due to a combination of water and the right amount of soil.

That could provide Arkansas farmers with a multitude of crops, with the state's access to water possibly being a boon to agriculture in the coming decades.

"Underneath Arkansas is a gold mine, water," Hamilton said. "It's all about the water," he said.

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