USDA announced that the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) was providing funding of $196.4 million to more than 60 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand export markets for U.S. agriculture through the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP).
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “USDA is moving quickly to implement our trade promotion programs to help open and expand opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and small businesses and build on the past five years of record agricultural exports."
The FMD program will provide $24.6 million to 22 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers. The FMD program is used to create, expand, and maintain long-term export markets. Key recipients of FMD funding are the American Soybean Association, U.S. Wheat Associates, Cotton Council International, American Hardwood Export Council, and U.S. Grains Council.
The MAP program will provide $171.8 million to 62 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. The funds are used for marketing and promotional activities. Key recipients of MAP funding are the Cotton Council International, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and American Hardwood Export Council.
Participants in these two trade promotion programs must provide private sector matching funds.
An independent study conducted in 2010 for USDA found that for every dollar of public and private funds spent by FMD and MAP resulted in $35 in economic benefits.
The FMD and MAP programs were reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill.