WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2005 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is accepting applications until March 14, 2005, for four export market development programs. The programs are the Emerging Markets Program (EMP), Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP) and Quality Samples Program (QSP).
All of the programs are designed to help expand commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and are administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. Applications for participation in these programs are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, March 14.
The purpose of the EMP is to assist U.S. public and private organizations in improving market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products in low- to middle-income countries. The program focuses on expanding market access opportunities where there are risks that the private sector would not normally undertake alone.
The FMD provides funds to assist nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations in developing and maintaining foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products through a cost-share program. FMD funds are allocated to U.S. trade organizations with the broadest possible producer representation. Priority is given to organizations that are nationwide in membership and scope. Activities must contribute to the maintenance or growth of demand for the agricultural commodities and generally address long-term foreign import constraints and export growth opportunities.
By providing cost-share assistance to U.S. trade organizations and small-sized entities, the MAP helps to create, expand and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products. MAP participants must contribute a minimum of 10 percent of the cost of generic marketing and promotion activities and 50 percent for branded promotions.
The QSP helps U.S. exporters provide samples of American commodities to foreign buyers who have not previously used them to encourage new purchases. The program supports projects that benefit whole industries rather than individual companies. When a project is finished, USDA reimburses certain costs for procuring and exporting the samples.
Applicants may submit a single application for all of the export assistance programs using the on-line Unified Export Strategy (UES) process. The Web-based application is located on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov/mos/ues/unified.html. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to apply through the Internet. To do so, contact the FAS Marketing Operations Staff by calling (202) 720-4327 for a log-on ID and a password.
All applicants must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) number for federal assistance before submitting applications. Information and numbers may be obtained by calling the toll-free number 1-866-705-5711.
Applications not submitted via the Internet can be hand-delivered to: USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Marketing Operations Staff, Room 4932-S, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, DC 20250-1042; mailed to: USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Marketing Operations Staff, Stop 1042, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, DC 20250-1042; or sent electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details on application procedures for these programs can be found in Federal Register notices posted on the Web at http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fr/notices.html.