The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $173 million in fiscal year 2015 funding for the Market Access Program and $26.7 million for the Foreign Market Development Program to more than 60 organizations.
The USDA MAP allocation includes:
- $5.1 million for the Washington Apple Commission;
- $3.06 million for the Pear Bureau Northwest;
- $2.66 million for Sunkist Growers;
- $4.99 million for the National Potato Promotion Board;
- $4.38 million for the Florida Department of Citrus;
- $1.68 million for the Washington State Fruit Commission; and
- $3.4 million for the California Table Grape Commission.
Participants in the Market Access Program contribute an average 214% match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives, according to a news release from the USDA.
“The Market Access and Foreign Market Development Programs help agricultural organizations representing thousands of producers and businesses open and grow markets for American products around the world,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release. “Exports create jobs and foster growth that is critically important for rural communities and our entire nation’s economy.”
According to the USDA, an independent study released in 2010 found that trade promotion programs like MAP and FMD provide $35 in economic benefits for every dollar spent by government and industry on market development.
Though the farm bill authorizes $200 million per year for the Market Access Program, Diane Kurrle, senior vice president for the U.S. Apple Association, said administrative costs and the effect of federal budget cuts related to sequestration in late 2013 apparently are the cause of the reduced MAP allocations for fiscal year 2015. Congress has yet to pass appropriation bills for all federal agencies for fiscal year 2015.