USDA grants $234 million to promote U.S. food...

USDA grants $234 million to promote U.S. food overseas

USDA provided more than $234 million to help market American farm products overseas in the 2007 fiscal year that ended Sept 30.

According to acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner, who announced this report, promoting the product of the American farmer keeps the pathway open from the farm gate to the world markets.

The allocations were provided under the Market Access Programme (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Programme (FMD), both administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council are just a couple of the organisations that benefited from this programme. USMEF received more than $14 million, while USAPEEC received almost $5 million.

The MAP uses funds from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities with U.S. agricultural trade organisations, state regional groups and cooperatives.

After final export numbers are tallied, U.S. agricultural exports for fiscal year 2007 are expected to reach $79 billion, making 2007 the fourth year of back-to-back records. Fiscal year 2008 exports are forecast to reach $83.5 billion.
Source: U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA)