COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - South Carolina has agreed to buy nine acres at the State Farmers Market for $7-million despite the objections of a private business that leases space to farmers at the facility.

According to The State newspaper, the state Budget and Control Board purchased the property and structures from state Ports Authority Chairman Bill Stern and will lease the space.

Governor Nikki Haley sits on the board and said Friday she agreed to the purchase because the state will be able to use the rental income to help pay for the market's operations.

But David Nidiffer, president of Farmers Market Properties, said the state's purchase will drive up his costs substantially and he doubted that his company will be able to compete with the state.