On Aug. 12 agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced $10 million in additional funding for export promotions by 65 U.S. trade organizations under the 2002 Market Access Program (MAP).

"Exports are vital to U.S. Agriculture’s growth," Veneman said. "The Market Access Program helps U.S. farmers and ranchers gain access to growing markets and consumers who will find that the United States is an excellent supplier of high-quality products."

The MAP provides trade associations, state-regional trade groups and agricultural cooperatives a means to promote their products overseas. In June, USDA announced $90 million in funding to trade organizations under the fiscal year 2002 MAP. The additional $10 million for the current year was authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill. The new farm bill also increases MAP funding to $200 million by 2006.

MAP is a cost-share program that uses Commodity Credit Corporation funds to support its mission. Applicants compete for funding based on the quality of their applications, past export performance and their willingness to contribute their own resources to the program.

For more information on the Market Access Program, contact the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Marketing Operations Staff at (202) 720-4327 or visit the FAS Website at

www.fas.us da.gov/. A list of the additional allocations to trade organizations is attached.