WASHINGTON — Funding for a pair of programs that support the promotion of US agricultural exports would get a significant boost under legislation recently introduced in the US Senate.
The Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act of 2022 would double funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, agricultural export programs administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The MAP and FMD programs are accessed annually by more than 60 US agricultural export promotion organizations, including US Wheat Associates (US Wheat) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), which support the legislation.
Each year, wheat growers contribute a portion of their wheat sales, which qualifies USW to apply for funds from these programs. Rhonda K. Larson, US Wheat chairperson and a wheat grower from East Grand Forks, ND, said MAP funding has not increased from $200 million since 2006 and FMD funding has remained at $34.5 million since 2002, even as global competition has grown substantially.
“To manage that challenge over the years, US Wheat has closed offices and reduced staff to protect wheat export demand in our top markets,” Larson said. “With additional MAP and FMD funds, we could expand our promotion effort to more commercial markets.”
US Wheat also uses MAP and FMD funding to enable greater use of US wheat in food aid programs that have taken on increased significance with the disruption of global wheat trade by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Our food aid programs are the best suited for US wheat to help support the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict and for ongoing food insecurity,” said Nicole Berg, president of NAWG and a wheat grower from Paterson, Wash. “Looking ahead to the 2023 farm bill legislation, our food aid programs must receive continued support, and MAP and FMD programs dollars must be enhanced to support the effort to promote US wheat and other agricultural products.”
A recent econometric study conducted by agricultural economists at IHS Market and Texas A&M University predicted that doubling funding for these programs would generate an additional $44.4 billion in US agricultural exports over 2024 to 2029.
The CREAATE legislation was introduced by Senators Tina Smith of Minnesota, Angus King of Maine, and Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley of Iowa and must now be considered by the Senate Agriculture Committee.