LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Chinese seed company ordered to divest its Arkansas land holdings has paid the $280,000 fine levied on it in October.
Attorney General Tim Griffin announced Thursday afternoon that Syngenta Seeds LLC paid the penalty. The fine was for missing the reporting deadline for its land holdings.
“Because Syngenta is foreign-owned — ultimately by the Chinese Communist Party — it was required to report its ownership of agricultural land to the Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. It failed to timely do so — filing the report well after the deadline,” Griffin said in a statement.
The company is still required to divest itself of its land holdings of 160 acres in Craighead County for the Northrop King Seed Company. Northrop King owns 160 acres for its seed research and development business. It is a subsidiary of Syngenta Seeds LLC, which is owned by China National Chemical Company, formerly ChemChina, a Chinese state-owned company.
The order to divest came as a result of Act 636, signed into law this year, which bans prohibited entities, including China, from owning agricultural land in Arkansas.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the Oct. 17 news conference announcing the order, that Arkansas was the first state in the nation to act against a Chinese company to divest. The company has two years to divest.
Griffin announced the fine being levied at the same news conference. The fine amount was derived from the 25% market value of the 160-acre holding valued at approximately $1.12 million.