Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its FY ’18 agriculture appropriations bill, which provides full funding of $34.5 million for the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD).
Under the MAP (Market Access Program) and the FMD programs, administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), private-sector groups contribute an estimated $468.7 million annually, primarily from checkoff programs, into international market development and promotion. In fact, industry contributions represent more than 70% of the buying power of the programs.
Certainly, the Illinois Corn checkoff program is an important part of that funding, and the FMD program helps to expand the power of your funding.
The last increase to the FMD Program was in the 2002 Farm Bill when the program grew to $34.5 million annually. Since that increase, farm cash income is estimated to have increased $2.1 billion per year due to the FMD and MAP programs.
According to a 2016 Informa study on the effectiveness of FMD and MAP:
1) from 1977 to 2014 the return on investment was $28.20 in export gains for every additional $1 spent on FMD and MAP;
2) the two programs were responsible for 15 percent of total agricultural export revenue since 1977; and
3) the FMD and MAP programs were eliminated, the value of agricultural exports would drop by an annual average of $14.7 billion.
At this time there are no indications of when the Senate Appropriations bill will be considered by the Senate. The recently passed FY '18 agricultural appropriations by the House Appropriations Committee is expected to be considered in September.