Meat & Livestock News

USDA Unveils $1.4 Billion Funding Plan to Enhance Agricultural Exports

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed a strategic investment of $1.4 billion to fortify the country’s agricultural exports. The funding mechanism for this initiative will be the Commodity Credit Corporation, as indicated in a report by National Hog Farmer.

The initiative, termed the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), takes its structural cues from the Trump administration’s prior Agricultural Trade Promotion program. While the program’s specifics are still under deliberation, its primary aim is to bolster the United States’ agricultural export competencies.

In the context of the forthcoming farm bill, multiple agricultural organizations have accentuated the pressing need to elevate funding for existing schemes such as the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD). 

These schemes have been functioning with unchanged budgetary allocations for over 15 years. MAP is apportioned an annual budget of $200 million, and FMD is allocated $34.5 million per annum.

The call for increased funding emanates from the eroded purchasing power due to inflation over the previous 15 years. Despite the palpable need, securing additional financial resources for these expanded schemes has been complex. 

Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) have appealed to the USDA for support in this intricate matter.