Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2011)—With the release of the President’s FY2012 budget this week, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) applauded the Administration’s decision to help promote U.S. agricultural exports by fully funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.
“Exports are absolutely essential to ensuring the continued strength of American agriculture and to boosting the economy in communities across the country,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “Programs like MAP help to accomplish these goals while providing the American taxpayers with a tremendous return on investment. A recent study by IHS Global Insight indicates that every dollar invested in export promotion through MAP leads to $35 in additional exports.”
Both MAP and FMD are administered on a cost-share basis, and are among the few export tools not specifically capped under World Trade Organization rules. The programs help to promote U.S. agricultural exports in countries across the world; small businesses, nonprofit trade organizations, and farmer cooperatives are eligible to receive MAP funds.
“The Administration has set forth its National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double exports in the next five years, as a way to spur economic growth and job creation in the U.S. By seeking full funding for programs to expand overseas markets for American agriculture, they are taking an important step towards meeting this goal,” Conner concluded.
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.