LACASSINE, LA. — South Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF) has announced plans to develop an $11.6 million rice mill in Jefferson Davis Parish, La. The mill is expected to add 7 new direct jobs and 28 indirect jobs.
SLRF said it will invest $10 million to equip the new facility, with construction slated to begin in September. SLRF was launched in 2010 to receive, preserve and distribute paddy rice to international markets. The company has four tanks that provide 156,000 bus of pre-positioned cargo to load 40 rail cars, with trucks able to unload in four minutes through elevators that can handle up to 25,000 bus per hour.
As part of the project, SLRF is partnering with India-based Agreeta Farmer Network to optimize the facility’s logistics and to prepare local farm products for international markets. The SLRF rice mill will have an expected life span of several decades and will serve hundreds of rice farmers and investors in Southwest Louisiana, the company said.
“Rice cultivation and distribution has been a bedrock agribusiness for our state since its earliest days, and today I join the South Louisiana Rail Facility in announcing a new chapter in its history,” said Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana. “The South Louisiana Rail Facility’s new rice mill will reward the hard work of more than 200 Louisiana rice farmers with added value for their operations and diversified products for international markets. This new facility will be built to last and to provide opportunities for Louisiana farmers for decades to come.”
Mark Pousson, manager of SLRF, added, “The South Louisiana Rail Facility is excited to partner with Agreeta to continue to provide new marketing avenues to the region’s rice growers. This collaboration will ensure that sustainably sourced Louisiana rice is available to consumers in Southwest Louisiana and beyond.”
The rice mill will be located on land owned by the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority, which will retain ownership of the mill. The state of Louisiana is providing $1.6 million to SLRF through the state’s performance-based Economic Development Award Program, which is designated for infrastructure needs on site and at the mill.