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Local News

U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund $300 million in grants to boost exports

Credit: iStock

by Ariana Figueroa, Wisconsin Examiner
May 21, 2024

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday $300 million in funding for more than 60 groups seeking to diversify American agricultural exports.

“USDA is pleased to be able to provide the startup capital to tap into these opportunities,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on a call with reporters Monday night previewing the announcement.

In total, 66 organizations will be funded under the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program, or RAPP. The USDA launched the $1.4 billion program in October in order to develop new export markets for U.S. food and agricultural products beyond the traditional partnerships with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and China.

“What this program really provides is an opportunity for us not only to expand geographically the opportunities for trade, but also the products that can be made available,” Vilsack said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to diversify in a variety of different ways to grow market opportunity.”

The program focuses on tapping U.S. exports into new markets in regions such as South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

“When you have the major markets, as we’ve had, where 60 to 65% of what we export goes into four or five markets, that can create a sense of complacency,” Vilsack said.

This story is republished from Wisconsin Examiner under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.