Nov 17, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC -- On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is awarding $173.5 million in Market Access Program (MAP) funds to 70 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives and $26.6 million in Foreign Market Development (FMD) funds to 26 trade organizations. USA Rice participates and receives money in both programs.
For FY17, USA Rice received nearly $2.5 million in MAP funds and over $1.6 in FMD funds. At the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) annual meetings earlier this week, FAS staff informed the cooperator groups that the reduction most groups received was due to a slightly higher sequestration rate, less carryover from previous years, and the addition of two new cooperators in MAP.
“While it is somewhat disappointing that less funding was available compared with last year, we are heartened by conversations with FAS that see the value in our overseas programs,” said John Valpey, chairman of the USA Rice International Promotion Committee. “We will continue to conduct a robust, global promotion program promoting all types and forms of U.S. rice.”
“We appreciate FAS support through the MAP and FMD programs which help the entire rice industry market products overseas,” said Brian King, USA Rice chairman. “Without these vital funds and the overseas FAS personnel that enable us to respond to issues that arise with trade, the U.S. rice industry would not be nearly as vibrant as it is now. Nearly 50 percent of the U.S. rice crop is destined for overseas markets so it’s imperative that we have adequate marketing, promotional, and trade servicing support.”