Arkansas orders Syngenta to sell farmland in state 

Farmstead (Journal photo by Jennifer Carrico.)

News outlets reported Oct. 17, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckbee Sanders had ordered Syngenta to sell 160 acres of farmland within the state in two years. Act 636 was approved in April 2023. 

The order came because the company is Chinese owned, and Reuters said the move is “drawing a sharp rebuke from the global seed producer.” 

In the article, concerns about national security from U.S. farm groups and lawmakers have lead to increased scrutinization of foreign land ownership. Huckabee Sanders said it is about where loyalties lie. 

Reuters reported Syngenta was disappointed and called it “a shortsighted action” that will hurt Arkansas farmers. In the article, Syngenta spokesperson Saswato Das said the company owns about 1,500 acres of U.S. agricultural land for research, development and regulatory trials on products used by U.S. farmers. 

“Our people in Arkansas are Americans led by Americans who care deeply about serving Arkansas farmers,” Das said. The company has owned the site in Craighead County for 35 years, he added. 

According to the article, the order is Arkansas’ first enforcement action under a state law passed this year that prohibits certain foreign parties from acquiring or holding land. China is among the prohibited parties because it is subject to U.S. arms export controls known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said. 

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].