Emerging Markets Program (EMP)
The Emerging Markets Program (EMP) helps U.S. organizations promote exports of U.S. agricultural products to countries that have -- or are developing -- market-oriented economies and that have the potential to be viable commercial markets.
Through the EMP, FAS provides cost-share funding for technical assistance activities such as feasibility studies, market research, sectorial assessments, orientation visits, specialized training and business workshops. The EMP supports exports of generic U.S. agricultural commodities and products, meaning projects that endorse or promote branded products or specific companies are not eligible.
Each year, FAS announces the EMP application period and criteria in the Federal Register. U.S. non-profit, for-profit and government entities are all eligible to apply. Applicants submit proposals through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) process, which allows eligible organizations to request funding from multiple USDA market development programs through a single, strategically coordinated proposal.
There is no fixed list of "emerging market" countries, but the legislation defines an emerging market as any country that "is taking steps toward a market-oriented economy through the food, agriculture, or rural business sectors of the economy of the country" and "has the potential to provide a viable and significant market for United States commodities or products of United States agricultural commodities." Guidance on qualified countries is provided each year in the program application announcement.