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.