USDA awards $300 million to diversify export markets for US agriculture

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

Posted on May 24 ,00:15

USDA awards $300 million to diversify export markets for US agriculture

Secretary Vilsack launched RAPP in October 2023, authorizing $1.2 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to help U.S. exporters 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 U.S. producers and agribusinesses, and exports are a critical part of that effort", Vilsack said. "By enabling U.S. exporters to expand their footprint in diverse and dynamic new markets, RAPP will help make them more competitive and resilient in an increasingly volatile global trading environment. We know 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 organizations carry out hundreds of projects encompassing a wide variety of products and markets. For example:

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.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom:

"USMEF is honored to participate in RAPP and we thank Secretary Vilsack and the staff at USDA for their vision and leadership in implementing this program. The additional investment in foreign market development is very timely and will be especially helpful in expanding demand for U.S. red meat in emerging export markets. USMEF also appreciates the role Congressional leaders played in the development of RAPP. We thank them for their support of this program and for prioritizing Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funding in the new Farm Bill".

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