The Department of Agriculture said it provided more than $234 million in assistance to help market American farm products overseas in fiscal 2007.
The allocations for the year ending Sept. 30 were provided under the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program, both administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
MAP uses funds from the USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities with various U.S. agricultural trade organizations, as well as state regional groups and cooperatives. MAP funds are used to finance such activities as market research, consumer promotions for retail products, and seminars to educate overseas customers.
The MAP program gives priority to those organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope. Its activities focus on reducing market impediments, improving the processing capabilities of importers, modifying restrictive regulatory codes and standards in foreign markets, and identifying new markets or uses for American products.