Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its plan to use Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to create the Regional Agriculture Promotion Program (RAPP) – a $1.3 billion program to assist agricultural groups in marketing their commodities overseas. In addition, and under the RAPP program, USDA will also provide $1 billion in commodity-based international food aid.
In response to the announcement, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) thanked the USDA:
“The U.S. Grains Council thanks Secretary Vilsack and the USDA for continuing to promote market development through providing a new program funding source,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “The success of the Council would not be possible without its partners in both the public and private sector, and we look forward to expanding exports of corn, sorghum, barley and their co-products with this new source of funding, however, there is still a need to increase long-term funding of the MAP and FMD programs in a new farm bill.”
Like the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funds that were first distributed in 2019, RAPP funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) will supplement the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funds the Council relies on annually to help its members expand markets for grains in all forms and its international partners to serve their local consumers.