USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced changes to the Market Access Program (MAP) that will streamline its requirements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program. Changes announced include:
· Streamlining application and planning requirements under FAS’ Unified Export Strategy;
· Specifying the types of activities eligible for reimbursement under the program;
· Documenting operational procedures for MAP projects promoting branded products;
· Requiring program participants to establish fraud prevention programs;
· Revising processes for evaluation, contracting, compliance review and appeals.
The MAP program helps non-profit U.S. agricultural trade associations, farmer cooperatives, non-profit state-regional trade groups and small businesses promote U.S. agricultural commodities and products overseas. The program will need to be reauthorized in the farm bill.