USDA ANNOUNCES $39 MILLION TO PROMOTE U.S. FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS OVERSEAS
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2006-The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service today announced fiscal year 2006 allocations of $39 million to 56 U.S. trade organizations to promote U.S. agricultural products overseas.
"Developing overseas markets is critical to American agriculture," said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "These programs support U.S. producer associations so they can tap into market opportunities. Agricultural exports support not only the food and agriculture sectors, but the economy as a whole."
The allocations will be administered under three FAS programs-the Foreign Market Development (FMD) cooperator program, the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program, and the Quality Samples Program (QSP).
Under the FMD Cooperator program, USDA establishes a trade promotion partnership with nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations. 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. The 50-year-old program has supported market development activities in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Under the TASC program, USDA provides funds to eligible organizations to address barriers to exports of U.S. specialty crops. These include all cultivated plants and their products produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar and tobacco.
The QSP funds activities that benefit agricultural industries rather than individual exporters. Recipients are reimbursed for certain costs of purchasing and transporting commodity samples to provide foreign importers with information about the attributes, characteristics and use of U.S. commodities.