For the first time in history, U.S. rice growers will be allowed to sell rice to China. Yes, the world’s largest consumer of rice has opened its doors to U.S. farmers. And some people couldn’t be happier.
Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary, made the announcement Thursday, saying that not only is China the largest consumer of rice, but it’s also the largest importer. Last year, the Chinese purchased nearly 5 million tons of rice.
“The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry,” Perdue said in a news release.
Arkansas is the nation’s largest grower of rice followed by California, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Texas.
Most of California’s rice is grown in the Sacramento Valley. And here’s an interesting fact, most of the sushi rice eaten in the U.S. comes from California.
U.S. rice exports can begin once Chinese trade officials complete an audit of U.S. rice facilities.