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Vilsack announces $300M for export market diversification

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced USDA is awarding $300 million to help build demand for food and farm exports in high-potential international markets.

Virginia Houston, director of government affairs for the American Soybean Association, says the allocation was needed in an increasingly volatile global trading environment.

“Market access and trade promotion programs are critical to the success of US soy and our global export markets,” she said. “We’re excited for this first tranche of funding.”

Vilsack says the funds will go to 66 U.S. organizations under the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). RAPP was launched in October 2023, authorizing $1.2 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to help U.S. exporters expand their customer base beyond traditional and established markets.

Houston tells Brownfield ASA was particularly pleased the agency dedicated $25 million for trade expansion in Africa.

“We think there’s a lot of potential for US soy on the African continent,” she said. “There’s a growing middle class and a growing demand for protein consumption.”

USDA says the funding will also focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, and South and Southeast Asia where consumer demand and purchasing power have been growing.

AUDIO: ASA’s Virginia Houston 5-21-2024

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