The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) awarded fiscal year 2013 funding to more than 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for their goods.
Under the Market Access Program (MAP), FAS will provide $172.7 million to 70 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. MAP participants contribute an average 171-percent match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives, USDA explained.
Through the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), FAS will allocate $25.4 million to 26 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers. The organizations, which contribute an average 183-percent cost share, will conduct activities that help maintain or increase demand for U.S. agricultural commodities overseas.
"Through MAP, FMD and other market development programs, USDA helps U.S. agricultural organizations, representing thousands of producers and businesses, open and expand international markets for U.S. agricultural exports," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.
According to USDA, its international market development programs have had a “significant and positive impact” on U.S. agricultural exports. The department referred to an independent study released in 2010 which found for every $1 spent by government and industry on market development, U.S. food and agricultural exports increased by $35.
USDA said the past four years represent the strongest period for U.S. agricultural exports in the history of the country. “Farm exports in fiscal year 2012 reached $135.8 billion and supported 1 million jobs here at home. Exports of U.S. farm goods in fiscal year 2013 are projected to total $139.5 billion, which would set a new record. Agricultural exports support more than one million jobs and drive economic opportunity in rural America,” the department said.
A complete list of the agricultural organizations and funding levels under the MAP and FMD programs can be found here