USDA allocates $234 million to promote U.S. ag products overseas
USDA announced last week that it has funded more than $234 million in fiscal year 2008 to 70 U.S. trade organizations to help promote American farm products overseas.
“Agricultural trade is absolutely vital to the U.S. economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “This funding will help U.S. farmers and ranchers develop overseas consumers who value the United States as an excellent supplier of superior agricultural products.
" The funding announced has been allocated under the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program, both administered by US- DA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
MAP uses funds from US- DA’s Commodity Credit Corporation to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities with U.S. agricultural trade organizations, state regional trade groups, and cooperatives. Activities conducted with MAP funding include market research, consumer promotions for retail products, and seminars to educate overseas customers.
Under the Foreign Market Development program, US- DA establishes a partnership with nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations.
Funding priority is given to organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope. Program activities focus on reducing market impediments, improving the processing capabilities of importers, modifying restrictive regulatory codes and standards in foreign markets, and identifying new markets or uses for U.S. products.
For more information about exports or market development programs, contact the Office of Trade Programs at 202/720-4327, or visit the Web site at www.fas.usda.gov/mos/marketdev.asp. — WLJ