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Market Access Program

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Market Access Program


Federal Agency




Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, as amended, Section 203.






To encourage the creation, maintenance, and expansion of commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities through cost-share assistance to eligible trade organizations that implement a foreign market development program.


Types of Assistance

Direct Payments for Specified Use.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Market Access Program (MAP) funds are authorized through program agreements that provide for partial reimbursement of eligible promotional expenses in a Unified Export Strategy application approved by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the agency which administers the program for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). MAP participants may receive assistance for either generic or brand promotion activities. Program funds help finance activities such as consumer advertising, point of sale demonstrations, public relations, trade servicing activities, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research and technical assistance.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

To be approved, applicants must be: (1) A nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organization; (2) a nonprofit State regional trade group; (3) a U.S. agricultural cooperative; (4) a State agency; or (5) a U.S. commercial entity that is a smallsized entity (other than a cooperative or producer association).

Beneficiary Eligibility

CCC will enter into MAP agreements only where the eligible agricultural commodity is comprised of at least 50 percent U.S. origin content by weight, exclusive of added water.


Applicants are required to provide a competent, experienced staff and other resources to assure adequate development, supervision, and execution of promotion activities. All applicants must submit a written proposal which provides a brief discussion of the commodity for which assistance is requested; the proposed program with a justification; and a strategic plan. In addition, all applicants must submit a statement certifying that any CCC resources received will supplement, but not supplant, any private or third party funds or other contributions to program activities. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372 and OMB Circular No. A-102.

Application Procedure

Each year the availability of funds is announced in a Federal Register notice. At this time a written export strategy should be submitted to the Director, Marketing Operations Staff, FAS. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure

Applications are reviewed against the allocation criteria and factors set forth in 7 CFR Part 1485. CCC notifies each applicant of the final disposition of its application and also issues a public announcement concerning the allocation of resources among the applicant organizations. Each approved applicant receives a program agreement and allocation approval letter which specifies any special terms and conditions applicable to a participant's program. Final agreement occurs when both the participating organization and the Administrator of FAS in the Administrator's capacity as Vice President, CCC, sign the program agreement.


Application deadline is announced in the form of a Federal Register notice.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 90 days.


Not applicable.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

A participant's contribution requirement will be specified in the export strategy approval letter. Participants must contribute at least 10 percent of the value of resources provided by CCC for generic promotions. Such contributions may be in the form of cash, goods or services. In the case of brand promotions, a participant must contribute at least 50 percent of the total cost of such brand promotions. The brand promotion program is by its very nature a matching funds program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Agreements generally include a twelve-month promotional effort and a provision for program evaluation by an independent third party. Funds awarded in any given fiscal year are typically available for two additional years.


Post Assistance Requirements


Expense reports are submitted to claim reimbursement for promotional expenses. Trip reports are submitted not later than 45 days after completion of travel. Research reports and end-of-year contribution reports are submitted no later than 6 months after the end of a participant's activity plan year.


Participant accounts are reviewed as needed, but normally at least every two years, by representatives of the Compliance Review Staff (CRS) of FAS. Audits and reviews are also conducted sporadically by representatives of the Office of Inspector General and the Government Accounting Office. Accounts and records must be available for inspection or audit at any reasonable time.


Must be maintained for not less than 3 years after completion or termination of the agreement or not more than 5 full calendar years following the year of the transaction that is evidenced by such an account or record that took place, whichever is sooner.


Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct payments) FY 07 $100,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From $22,000 to $9,611,000; $1,375,000.


Program Accomplishments



Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

7 CFR 1485.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Administrator, Commodity and Marketing Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-4761.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

10.600, Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program


Examples of Funded Projects

Generic programs: (1) Promotion of U.S. forest products in Europe through conferences and demonstration projects; (2) promotion of sunflower kernel in Germany through trade shows, advertising and public relations; (3) promotion of U.S. potatoes in Japan through consumer and trade advertising; (4) familiarizing world trading partners with the U.S. grain trading system in order to encourage easier and more fruitful trade. Brand identified promotion program: (1) Promotion of branded citrus worldwide, especially in the Far East and Europe; (2) promotions of branded almonds by increasing consumer awareness in Japan, France and the United Kingdom; and (3) promotions by State groups of a variety of high value products worldwide.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Allocations will only be made to applicants that present the best opportunity for developing or expanding export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities. In assessing the applicant, the following factors are considered: (1) effectiveness of program management; (2) soundness of accounting procedures; (3) the nature of the organization; (4) prior export promotion or direct export experience; (5) previous MAP funding and performance; (6) adequacy of the applicant's strategic plan; (7) past and present contribution levels; (8) export goals; and the (9) accuracy of past projected export goals. In providing assistance for brand promotions, priority will be given to small-sized entities. Qualifying products whose composition is less than 50 percent U.S. origin are not eligible.


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