STUTTGART, ARK. — Riceland Foods, Inc., the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice, will invest $13.2 million to expand its plant in Stuttgart. The move comes in response to “unprecedented growth” in the cooperative’s domestic packaged business, Riceland said.

As part of the expansion, Riceland will add two new packaging lines in Stuttgart. The cooperative also will invest in additional renovations of existing facilities and updates to existing production lines.

A total of 80 new jobs will be created across Riceland’s Stuttgart and Jonesboro, Ark., plants, the cooperative said.

“Riceland has been a key employer in eastern Arkansas for years,” said Andrew Dallas, interim president and chief executive officer at Riceland. “We’re excited about the opportunity to grow this segment of the business.”

Ben Noble, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Riceland, added that the cooperative’s business strategy has focused on the expansion of its value-added packaged business for some time.

“We appreciate the governor’s assistance in helping us take advantage of the increased demand in the marketplace,” Mr. Noble said. “The majority of these jobs will be in Stuttgart and Jonesboro, Ark., and will provide a much needed boost to the local economies in those areas of the state. Ultimately, the true beneficiary will be our farmers due to the increased margins we are able to secure.”

Riceland is partnering with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to help recruit new team members for these new roles.

“As the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice, Riceland Foods has been a significant economic engine not only in Stuttgart, but in the entire state, propelling Arkansas to becoming the top state in rice production,” Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce Mike Preston said. “As the company celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, it is with great pleasure that we celebrate the expansion of these two plants and the impact the company will have in their communities.”