Meat & Livestock News

USDA Allocates Over $203 Million to Boost U.S. Food and Agricultural Exports

Close up view of unrecognizable worker holding crate full of red apples in organic food factory warehouse.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has announced the allocation of more than $203 million in funding to approximately 70 agricultural organisations. This initiative aims to enhance export markets for U.S. food and agricultural products through the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.

Among the recipients, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, which focuses on increasing the value and profitability of U.S. beef, pork, and lamb, has been awarded $12.8 million in MAP funds and $988,000 in FMD funds.

FAS Administrator Daniel B. Whitley highlighted the significant impact of these programs, noting that for every dollar invested in export market development, U.S. agricultural exports have increased by over $24. This funding is expected to substantially benefit the U.S. agricultural industry, thereby bolstering the economy not only in rural areas but across the entire country.

For the fiscal year 2024, FAS will provide $174.3 million through MAP to 68 nonprofit organisations and cooperatives. These groups will use the funds for various promotional activities, including consumer and brand promotion, particularly for small companies and cooperatives.

The focus will be on promoting a range of products such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, processed items, and bulk commodities. The USDA notes that the average MAP participant contributes more than $2.50 for every dollar received in federal funding.

Additionally, under the FMD program, FAS will allocate $27 million for the fiscal year 2024 to 20 trade organisations representing U.S. agricultural producers. This program is geared towards the generic promotion of U.S. commodities rather than branded products, with preference given to organisations with nationwide membership and scope.

These organisations, which on average contribute more than $2.50 for every federal dollar received, will undertake activities aimed at maintaining or increasing the demand for U.S. agricultural commodities overseas.

In a related development, the USDA has also introduced the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). This new $1.2 billion fund, complementing the fiscal year 2024 allocations, is designed to assist exporters in reaching non-traditional markets and maintaining existing market relationships..

The first tranche of RAPP funding, amounting to $300 million, is open for applications until February 2. This program allows applicants to propose projects spanning up to five years, focusing on establishing and expanding their market presence in regions with growing demand for U.S. products and increasing middle classes.