USDA Accepting Applications for FY 2013 Market Development Programs

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2012 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is accepting applications for 2013 funding for five export market development programs administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

"USDA's market development programs help farmers, ranchers, and businesses of all sizes build and maintain commercial markets for U.S. food and agricultural products in more than 100 countries," said FAS Administrator Suzanne Heinen. "For every dollar that government and industry invest in market development programs and activities, agricultural exports increase by $35. Those exports boost rural economies and support more than a million American jobs in farming and related endeavors such as transportation and processing."

USDA will accept applications until 5 p.m. ET on May 23 for the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program (FMD), Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) Program, Quality Samples Program (QSP) and Emerging Markets Program (EMP). QSP, TASC and EMP applications received after the deadline will be considered for funding if money remains.

Under MAP, USDA provides cost-share assistance to U.S. producers, exporters and trade organizations for international marketing and promotional activities for U.S. commodities and products. Under FMD, USDA partners with nonprofit agricultural trade associations to build international demand for U.S. commodities. The TASCÂ program funds projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. QSPÂ helps agricultural trade organizations provide small samples of their products to potential importers in emerging markets. EMPÂ provides funding for technical assistance activities to promote exports to emerging markets. More information about the programs can be found at www.fas.usda.gov/programs.asp.

Applicants are encouraged to apply via the Unified Export Strategy online application system. Information is available at www.fas.usda.gov/mos/ues/Unified.asp. Applications can also be emailed to podadmin@fas.usda.gov or hand-delivered to: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Trade Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 6512-S, Washington, D.C. 20250.

Applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number for federal assistance, which can be obtained at fedgov.dnb.com/webform or by calling (866) 705-5711.

The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels in 2011 and beyond. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best periods in history thanks to the productivity and resourcefulness of our producers. Today, net farm income is at near record levels while debt has been cut in half since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, boost economic growth and support President Obama's National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

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