U.S. Department of Agriculture: Emerging Markets Program
The Emerging Markets Program (EMP) assists U.S. entities in developing, maintaining, or expanding exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products by funding activities that enhance emerging markets’ food and rural business systems, including reducing trade barriers. The EMP is intended primarily to support export market development efforts of the private sector, but EMP resources may also be used to assist public organizations.
EMP projects must fall into at least one of the following four categories:
(a) Assistance to teams consisting primarily of U.S. individuals expert in assessing the food and rural business systems of other countries to enable such teams to make assessments of the food and rural business systems needs of the target market. This type of EMP project must include all three of the following:
- Conduct an assessment of the food and rural business system needs of an emerging market
- Make recommendations on measures necessary to enhance the effectiveness of those systems
- Identify opportunities and projects to enhance the effectiveness of the emerging market’s food and rural business systems in order to grow U.S. exports
(b) Assistance to enable individuals from emerging markets to travel to the United States so that these individuals can, for the purpose of enhancing the food and rural business systems in their countries, consult with food and rural business system experts in the United States.
(c) Assistance to enable U.S. agricultural producers and other individuals knowledgeable in agricultural and agribusiness matters to travel to emerging markets to assist in transferring their knowledge and expertise to entities in the emerging market to enhance the market’s food and rural business systems in support of U.S. exports. Such travel must be to emerging markets.
(d) Technical assistance to implement the recommendations or to carry out projects and/or opportunities identified under (a) above. Technical assistance that does not implement the recommendations, projects, and/or opportunities identified under (a) above is not eligible under the EMP.
Amount: A total of $10,000,000 is available to make 40 awards that typically range up to $500,000 (although no minimum or maximum amounts are set). All private sector proposals must include a cost-share element from the applicant and/or U.S. partners. Cost-share may be actual cash invested or in-kind contributions to the project. While there is no minimum or maximum amount of cost-share, the degree of commitment to a proposed project, represented by the amount and type of private funding, is one factor used in determining which proposals will be approved for funding. Proposals for which private industry is willing to commit cash, rather than in-kind contributions such as staff resources, will be given priority consideration. Contributions from government agencies or programs may not be counted as cost-share by other applicants. Similarly, contributions from foreign (non-U.S.) organizations may not be counted toward the cost-share requirement, but may be counted in the total cost of the project.
Eligibility: Any U.S. private or government entity (e.g., universities, trade associations, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, state departments of agriculture, federal agencies, for-profit entities, and consulting businesses) with a demonstrated role or interest in the export of U.S. agricultural commodities or products may apply. Proposals from research and consulting organizations will be considered if they provide evidence of substantial participation by and financial support from the U.S. industry. Foreign organizations whether government or private, may participate as third parties in activities carried out by U.S. organizations but are not eligible for direct funding assistance through the program.
Eligible commodities: All U.S. agricultural commodities, except tobacco, are eligible for consideration. Agricultural product(s) should be comprised of at least 50 percent U.S. origin content by weight, exclusive of added water, to be eligible for funding. Proposals that seek support for multiple U.S. commodities are also eligible.
Eligible Markets: Only proposals that target countries or regional groups made up of countries classified below the World Bank’s threshold for upper middle-income economies will be considered for funding (see: https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups).
Countries classified as high income are not eligible markets under EMP.
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