The Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program help increase ag exports
By Diego Flammini
Several U.S. ag organizations are urging members of Congress to fully fund two programs that help promote ag exports.
About 130 groups signed off on a letter to members of the House and Senate ag subcommittees asking them to set aside proper dollar amounts for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.
The signees include the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, North American Meat Institute and the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Together they call themselves the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports.
The coalition is asking the MAP program, which helps organizations share costs associated with overseas marketing and promotional activities, receive at least $200 million. For fiscal year 2021, the USDA allocated $175.6 million for MAP.
The FMD program, which helps create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. ag products, should receive at least $34.5 million. For the 2021 fiscal year, USDA set aside $24.8 million for FMD. USDA added an $8 million extension for the calendar year.
The U.S. ag sector needs this funding to help it compete on global trading markets.
“MAP/FMD funding is critical to help U.S. farmers, ranchers and food exporters keep pace (with trading partners) and to help us make up for lost time after two and half years of trade conflict and retaliatory tariffs,” the groups wrote in the March 9 letters.
Farms.com has contacted members of the coalition for comment on the importance of these programs receiving proper funding.