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USDA allocates $300 million to diversify US agriculture export markets

Posted: 27 May 2024 | | No comments yet

66 US agriculture organisations will benefit from the funding under the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program.

USDA allocates $300 million to diversify US agriculture export markets

The US Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $300 million to 66 US organisations, under the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), to build demand for American food and farm exports in high-potential markets around the globe.

Secretary Vilsack launched RAPP in October 2023, authorising $1.2 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to help US exporters to expand their customer base beyond traditional and established markets, focusing on regions such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South and Southeast Asia, where consumer demand and purchasing power are growing.

“USDA and the entire Biden-Harris Administration are focused on creating more, new and better markets for US producers and agribusinesses, and exports are a critical part of that effort,” Vilsack said. “By enabling US exporters to expand their footprint in diverse and dynamic new markets, RAPP will help to make them more competitive and resilient in an increasingly volatile global trading environment. We know that the potential is out there, but it takes time and money to grow new markets. USDA is pleased to be able to provide the start-up capital to help tap into these opportunities, because if we are serious about reversing the decline of small and mid-sized farms, and building wealth that stays in rural communities, it’s crucial that we create and sustain diverse market opportunities abroad, as well as at home.”

The initial round of RAPP funding will help recipient organisations to carry out hundreds of projects encompassing a wide variety of products and markets across the agricultural sector. For example:

  • The Cranberry Institute plans to conduct trade education seminars and other consumer-focused activities to target export opportunities in India, Brazil, Colombia and Southeast Asia
  • The Southern Forest Products Association is targeting new market opportunities for Southern yellow pine products throughout the Caribbean region through educational seminars and promotional events
  • The Hazelnut Marketing Board will conduct market research and trade missions to facilitate support market development in several African countries
  • The U.S. Dairy Export Council plans to expand its presence in Africa by utilising RAPP funding to better understand and develop dairy import regulations and regulatory frameworks in many markets
  • The U.S. Meat Export Federation plans to expand its export efforts to new markets in the ASEAN region and throughout Africa, as well as enhance its investment in the convenience store segment in South Korea, Central America and Colombia
  • The Brewers Association will tap into the burgeoning craft beer scene in Southeast Asia, taking part in the region’s premier brewing trade show and festival and also bringing buyers from the region to the top trade shows in the US.

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