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Last Updated:[21-12-2009 05:11:18 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

USDA Releases Details on Funds for Emerging Markets Program

tradenews The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that 91 agricultural trade promotion projects had been allocated $8.2m for the fiscal 2009 to promote overseas market access for the US food and agricultural products. The money was provided by the Central Fund of the USDA's Emerging Markets Program (EMP), the funding which is set at $10mn each fiscal year from the Commodity Credit Corporation.

The EMP is a market access program that provides funding for technical assistance activities intended to promote exports of the US agricultural commodities and products to emerging markets in all geographic regions, consistent with the US foreign policy. According to the USDA, the EMP is a generic program, and projects that endorse or promote branded products are not eligible for this program.

The EMP, administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service, assists private and public organizations in improving market opportunities for the US agricultural products in low to middle-income countries with viable market potential. One of the emerging market criteria is that the per capita income should be less than $11,455, the current ceiling on upper middle income economies as determined by the World Bank.

The projects will be conducted in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Particularly in countries that falls under the other criterion to emerging markets of population greater than 1mn.

The total budget for the program can be used for technical assistance, such as activities that focus on building trade capacity, or addressing technical barriers to trade. The USDA informed that this year’s recipients of the funds included universities, state and federal agencies, trade groups, and non-profit organizations.

All applications to the program are subjected to a competitive review process that evaluates the quality of the proposal, its likelihood to succeed, and the applicant's knowledge of the market in the region. The USDA has also funded 32 other projects totaling $831,474 during the same period, under the EMP's Technical Issues Resolution Fund (TIRF).

By Jose Roy

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