The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauded Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement today that his agency is releasing $1.3 billion in funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to support trade promotion to diversify and develop markets for commodities and specialty crop industries.
Vilsack’s decision, which will help growers break into new markets in Asia and Africa, was strongly supported and encouraged by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.).
“To remain competitive globally, American farmers need our policymakers to make the necessary investments that will help ensure a strong global market for our crops,” said NCGA President Harold Wolle. “We are deeply appreciative of Secretary Vilsack as well as Sens. Stabenow and Boozman for making this funding a reality.”
Analysis has shown that for every $1 invested in export market development, exports are increased by $24.50, according to USDA.
The funding comes as NCGA pushes for increased investments for two key trade programs: the Market Access Program, which provides support in marketing activities abroad, and Foreign Market Development, which helps create and maintain long-term export markets. MAP's authorized funding has not changed since 2006 and FMD funding has remained the same since 2002.
“It has been almost 20 years since we have had an increase in funding for these crucial trade programs,” Wolle said. “We are falling behind other countries that are being more aggressive in their international market development programs. This announcement is welcome news, but it is equally crucial that Congress increases funding for MAP and FMD as it reauthorizes the farm bill.”
NCGA partners closely with the United States Grains Council to develop trade markets for corn globally.