Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has provided funding allocations supporting more than 100 organizations’ efforts to help expand commercial markets for U.S. agricultural exports. The Fiscal Year 2010 allocations were provided under FAS’ Emerging Markets Program (EMP), Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP), Quality Samples Program (QSP), and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program (TASC) to help expand commercial markets for U.S. agricultural exports.

“The president has made expanding U.S. exports a priority and these programs are an integral part of this plan,” said Vilsack. “These market development programs provide opportunities to organizations working on behalf of America’s farmers to expand U.S. exports as part of the President’s National Export Initiative.”

For Fiscal Year 2010, the EMP program supported 83 agricultural export promotion projects with funding totaling $8.3 million. The EMP assists U.S. private and public organizations in improving market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products in low-to-middle-income countries with market potential. Program funding can be used for technical assistance, such as activities that focus on trade capacity building or addressing technical barriers to trade. The EMP has a cost-sharing requirement.

Twenty-one organizations benefited from receiving a total of $34.15 million in fiscal year 2010 through the FMD program. The FMD program provides cost-share assistance to nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations to develop and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. FMD cooperators must match a minimum of 50 percent of the funds allocated under the program. FMD funds are allocated to U.S. trade organizations with the broadest possible producer representation. Activities must contribute to the maintenance or growth of demand for agricultural commodities and generally address long-term foreign import constraints and export growth opportunities.   

For Fiscal Year 2010, the MAP allocated approximately $197 million, providing cost-share assistance to 66 nonprofit U.S. trade organizations and small-sized entities to help create, expand and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products. MAP participants must match a minimum of 10 percent of the funds allocated under the program for the cost of generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar for dollar match for branded promotions.

Thirteen organizations received funding allocations under QSP in Fiscal Year 2010 for approximately $1.89 million. The QSP helps U.S. organizations supply samples of U.S. agricultural commodities and products to potential foreign buyers to be used in technical assistance projects displaying product quality and proper use as a means to encourage new purchases. The program supports projects that benefit whole industries rather than individual companies. USDA reimburses the costs for procuring and exporting the samples.

For Fiscal Year 2010, the TASC program allocated more than $7.3 million to 26 organizations. The TASC works to open, retain and expand markets for U.S. specialty crops. Resources are provided to address phytosanitary or related technical restrictions that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. Specialty crops include all cultivated plants and their products produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar and tobacco.

For a complete listing of funding allocations and projects, visit http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fiscal2010.