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Agricultural Export Assistance Funding Available for 2014

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture is inviting applications no later than May 28 for fiscal year 2014 funding under the following agricultural export programs, provided they are reauthorized prior to that time.

Emerging Markets Program. The EMP is designed to assist in developing, maintaining or expanding exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products by funding activities that improve emerging markets’ food and rural business systems, including reducing potential trade barriers in such markets. All EMP projects must fall into at least one of the following four categories.

- assistance to teams consisting primarily of U.S. individuals expert in assessing the food and rural business systems of other countries

- assistance to enable individuals from emerging markets to travel to the U.S. so that they can, for the purpose of enhancing the food and rural business systems in their countries, become familiar with U.S. technology and agribusiness and rural enterprise operations by consulting with food and rural business system experts in the U.S.

- assistance to enable U.S. agricultural producers and other individuals knowledgeable in agricultural and agribusiness matters to travel to emerging markets to assist in transferring their knowledge and expertise to entities in emerging markets

- technical assistance to implement the recommendations, projects and/or opportunities identified above

All U.S. agricultural commodities except tobacco are eligible for consideration under the EMP, but products should have at least 50% U.S.-origin content by weight (exclusive of added water). Proposals seeking support for multiple commodities are also eligible. Consideration will be given only to proposals that target countries or regional groups with per capita income of less than $12.475.

Market Development/Market Access Programs. The Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program and the Market Access Program are designed to create, expand and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products through assistance in sharing the costs of certain overseas marketing and promotion activities. All U.S. agricultural commodities except tobacco are eligible for consideration.

Quality Samples Program. The QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities. Participants may seek reimbursement for the sample purchase price and the cost of transporting the samples domestically to the port of export and then to the foreign port or point of entry.

QSP supports projects that address a single market/commodity combination; benefit whole industries rather than specific companies or brands; and develop a new market for a U.S. product, promote a new U.S. product or promote a new use for a U.S. product. Projects must also either subject the commodity sample to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing country or use the sample in technical seminars in the importing country designed to demonstrate to an appropriate target audience the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of an end product. QSP projects must target foreign importers and audiences who have not previously purchased the commodity at issue; are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attributes or end-use characteristics of the commodity; have been unsuccessful in previously attempts to import, process and market the commodity; are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of the commodity; or need technical assistance in processing or using the commodity.

Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops. The TASC program is designed to provide funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary or related technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. For TASC purposes specialty crops include all cultivated plants, or the products thereof, that are produced in the U.S. except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar and tobacco.

TASC projects should benefit the represented industry rather than a specific company or brand and must address barriers to exports of commercially-available U.S. specialty crops whose removal would predominantly benefit U.S. exports. Expenses that may be reimbursed under the TASC program include initial pre-clearance programs, export protocol and work plan support, seminars and workshops, study tours, field surveys, development of pest lists, pest and disease research, database development, reasonable logistical and administrative support, and travel and per diem expenses.

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