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Gipson already planning agricultural market complexes in other parts of the state

Commissioner Andy Gipson announced plans for the Genuine Mississippi Agricultural Market Complex last Thursday (Photo courtesy of MDAC)

Just last week, Andy Gipson announced plans for a massive agricultural complex to be located in Rankin County. Now, the Mississippi agriculture commissioner has revealed plans to build at least two similar projects in other parts of the state.

With the groundbreaking for the Genuine Mississippi Agricultural Market Complex scheduled for sometime in March, Gipson is already predicting a positive effect the complex set to feature supply, storage, and distribution options will have on addressing food security across the state. He said, with that in mind, his team is already in talks to start developing plans for complexes in both north and south Mississippi.

“I have a vision to do one of these in north Mississippi and south Mississippi,” Gipson said on Monday’s episode of The Gallo Show. “We are in talks with people on the coast about developing a seafood-type complex that could serve the same type of purpose and also in north Mississippi for serving the special products that make the Delta and north Mississippi…so very special.”

With a wide array of agricultural products such as sweet potatoes, corn, catfish, and seafood helping keep Mississippi’s economy afloat, these projects are intended to further bolster the state’s top industry.

The initial project, quickly picking up the shortened name of the Market Complex, will take over 153 acres of prized land off Highway 18 in Brandon. It will be centered around a retail component based on a town square while also including much-needed hubs for storage and distribution.

“If you can imagine, to start, with an old-fashioned town square but very nice where you can come and buy locally grown, raised, crafted, and made Mississippi poultry and produce,” Gipson said. “Beyond just the retail market, there will be storage and distribution facilities so that we won’t find ourselves in a situation like we had back in COVID-19. We’ll be able to distribute this product to restaurants and grocery stores in both good and hard times.”

Lessons learned from the pandemic combined with the American South working to up its role in food production resulted in Gipson coming up with the idea. According to him, the Market Complex will be the first facility of its kind across the entire U.S.

“No one else is doing this in the United States of America,” Gipson continued. “As food production is shifting away from California – I saw a presentation two months ago where California’s food production is dropping. It used to be the powerhouse. In a matter of 10 years, the southeastern United States will be the food production powerhouse in America, and I want Mississippi to be the center of that powerhouse. I want us to be leading the country in food safety, food supply, and in distribution.”

Master plans for the Market Complex are set to be released within the coming weeks. Gipson said they will start with the development of 10 acres before moving forward with the other 143. A tentative completion date for the project is scheduled for 2027 or 2028.

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