USDA awards market development funds

by Erica Shaffer
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The agency will spend $200 million to expand export markets for US farm and food products.

WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture is awarding $200 million to more than 70 agriculture organizations through the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD). The funds will be used to expand market access for farm and food products made in the United States.

Under MAP, the Foreign Agriculture Service of the USDA will provide $173.5 million in fiscal 2017 to 70 non-profit organizations and cooperatives that promote their products in the global marketplace through market research, technical assistance and participation in trade fairs and exhibits. USDA noted that MAP participants contribute an average 137 percent match for generic marketing and promotion activities in addition to a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products from small businesses and cooperatives.

FAS also will award $26.6 million to 26 trade organizations that represent agriculture producers as part of the FMD, which focuses on generic promotions of commodities.  USDA said the organizations contribute an average 130 percent cost share, and help nurture demand for US agricultural commodities abroad.

“USDA and the US agricultural industry work together in a unique public-private partnership to open and grow markets around the world for high-quality, American-made farm and food products,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “The federal investment in these programs is multiplied by industry matching funds, not only boosting agricultural export revenue and volume, but also supporting farm income and enhancing the overall US economy.”

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