IOWA, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the South Louisiana Rail Facility announced SLRF will develop an $11.6 million rice mill in Jefferson Davis Parish. Located at the Lacassine Industrial Park, SLRF is owned by the Jefferson Davis Parish Police Jury and can handle up to 25,000 bushels of rice per hour for storage and export. The new project will create seven new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $43,103, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 28 new indirect jobs, for a total of 35 new jobs in Louisiana’s Southwest Region.
SLRF will invest $10 million to equip the new facility, with construction slated to begin in September 2020. SLRF was launched in 2010 to receive, preserve and distribute paddy rice to international markets. SLRF is partnering with the 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.
“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,” Gov. Edwards said. “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.”
Development of the 15,000-square-foot facility will result in the creation of 20 construction jobs. SLRF expects construction to be complete by January 2021, and hiring for the new on-site jobs will begin soon after.
“The South Louisiana Rail Facility is excited to partner with Agreeta to continue to provide new marketing avenues to the region’s rice growers,” said SLRF Manager Mark Pousson. “This collaboration will ensure that sustainably sourced Louisiana rice is available to consumers in Southwest Louisiana and beyond.”