Number of farmers markets rise in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State agriculture officials estimate that the number of farmers markets in Arkansas have doubled in the past decade and they cite a demand for locally grown products as the reason.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's famers market directory lists nearly 100 such markets in the state - from Bella Vista to Texarkana to Gosnell and Lake Village. The largest markets are in Fayetteville, Little Rock, North Little Rock and Jonesboro.

Economics professor Ron Rainey in the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture says the increase is due to a rising demand for locally grown foods. Rainey says consumers are willing to pay premium prices because locally grown produce create a sense of trust between consumers and the farmers who sell their products.

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