The expiration of the 2008 farm bill on Sept. 30 brought with it the end of funding for the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Access Program. These two programs leverage farmer and agribusiness investments to build an active outreach program in more than 50 countries.
“Agricultural trade continues to be a success story and one of the few bright spots among our nation’s economy,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said. ”The continuing growth in agricultural exports contributes to economic growth for our economy and consistently provides a positive balance to global trade. The expiration of funds for MAP and FMD are yet another example of why Congress needs to pass a new, comprehensive five-year farm bill as soon as possible.”
MAP and FMD cooperators, like the U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Meat Export Federation, employ staff around the world, build and defend U.S. market share of corn and related co-products and directly foster sales opportunities for U.S. products. Although the United States Department of Agriculture and the Foreign Agricultural Service have enabled the temporary continuation of FMD, available funds will run out in the coming months. Without a new farm bill in place soon, U.S. farmers and agribusinesses risk significant damage to important export promotion programs.