January 8, 2024

USDA awards $203M in market access and development funds

More than $203 million will be awarded to nearly 70 agricultural organizations to help expand U.S. food and agricultural export markets through two USDA programs.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is distributing the funds through the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.

“Over the years, we have seen the tremendous impact both MAP and FMD have on expanding U.S. exports to markets across the globe,” FAS Administrator Daniel B. Whitley said in a news release. “For each $1 invested in export market development, U.S. agricultural exports have increased by more than $24. These programs provide a significant boost to the U.S. agricultural industry, which in turn helps strengthen the economy not just in rural communities but across the entire United States.”

Through MAP, FAS will provide $174.3 million for fiscal year 2024 to 68 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. Funding used for consumer promotion, including brand promotion for small companies and cooperatives, is utilized extensively by organizations promoting fruits, vegetables, nuts, processed products and bulk and intermediate commodities, according to the release.

The average MAP participant provides more than $2.50 in contributions for every $1 in federal funding it receives through the program, USDA said.

Through FMD, FAS will allocate $27 million to 20 trade organizations representing U.S. agricultural producers. The program focuses on generic promotion of U.S. commodities rather than consumer–oriented promotion of branded products. Preference is given to organizations representing an entire industry or that have a nationwide membership or scope.

The organizations, which contribute on average more than $2.50 for every $1 in federal funding received through the program, will conduct activities that help maintain or increase demand for U.S. agricultural commodities overseas.

Organizations receiving MAP funds include Blue Diamond Growers/Almond Board of California ($2.85 million), California Agricultural Export Council ($678,747), National Potato Promotion Board ($5 million), Organic Trade Association ($760,633), and Washington State Fruit Commission ($1.7 million).

Organizations receiving FMD funds include Almond Board of California ($173,502), American Seed Trade Association ($167,406) and National Sunflower Association ($547,773).

Late last year, USDA announced the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), which will provide $1.2 billion to help exporters reach nontraditional markets and help bolster existing markets. Applications for the first $300 million tranche of RAPP funding are being accepted through February 2.

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