Emerging Markets Program

The primary objective of the Emerging Markets Program is to promote, enhance or expand the exports of U.S.

agricultural commodities to overseas emerging markets through cost-share assistance to eligible organizations that implement an Emerging Markets Program.

The program supports the activities
of U.S.

agricultural and agribusiness firms--particularly those that may need assistance in obtaining or maintaining access in overseas markets.

The program is aimed at improving market access opportunities for agricultural products or processes in low- to middle-income countries that are likely to emerge as promising export markets in the near to medium term.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Study of Distribution, Logistical Bottlenecks for Hi-value Products, (2) Technical Seminars on the Proper Storage and Handling of U.S.

Pears, (3) Grain Warehouse Receipts Training Seminar, (4) Resolution of SPS and Quality Problems: Translation, Interpretation, Analysis, (5) Trade Education Seminars for Storage and Handling of California Grapes.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

EMP receives a large number of project proposals, from both government and private organizations, for funding each year, well beyond the amount of funding available. The Program has also seen significant increases in the level of private participants cost share. In order to operate more efficiently and ease the application and reimbursement process for participants, EMP has converted these functions into an online system. For fiscal year 2005, allocations were made to 71 organizations. Approved activities ranged from market research and training to addressing technical barriers such as in biotechnology and in promoting direct sales. For example, recent trade development activities conducted by the Almond Board of California with EMP funding support include technical seminars for key Russian trade contacts, the production of technical materials, and trade show participation. In addition, industry has funded an in-country representative, website development, and a consumer education program for Russia. As a result, U.S. almond exports to Russia increased dramatically in 2003/2004 to more than 14.2 million pounds, a 58% increase over 2002/2003.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Emerging Markets Program funds are authorized through project agreements that serve as binding instruments and create a legal obligation on the part of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to make appropriated funds available to the participant.

The agreement creates a cooperative relationship between CCC and the implementor with each side contributing resources to support achievement of mutual goals.

Program funds help finance activities such as feasibility studies, market research, sectorial assessments, orientation visits, specialized training, and business workshops.

The Program is not intended for projects targeted at end-user consumers.

Ineligible activities include in-store promotions, restaurant promotions, branded product promotions, administrative and operational expenses for trade shows and advertising, except in connection with specific technical assistance activities such as training seminars.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must be a: (1) U.


agricultural or agribusiness organization -- nonprofit, trade association, university, consultant group (under certain conditions), (2) State Department of Agriculture, or (3) USDA agency (or other Federal agency involved in agricultural issues).

Beneficiary Eligibility

(1) a U. S. agricultural or agribusiness organization -- nonprofit, trade association, university, consultant group (under certain conditions), (2) State Department of Agriculture, or (3) USDA agency (or other Federal agency involved in agricultural issues).


All eligible applicants must submit a written proposal in accordance with the guidelines set forth each year in the Federal Register. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372 and OMB Circular No.


Application Procedures

Each year solicitation of proposals is announced in the Federal Register. At that time written project proposals should be submitted to the Director, Marketing Operations Staff, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Award Procedures

FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of its application. For approvals, letters will contain the notice of approval and any qualifications or adjustments made to the original proposal. For rejections, letters will contain details explaining the reasons why the proposals were not approved for funding. FAS will send an Agreement to each approved applicant. The Agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of program funding and cost-share contribution. An applicant who accepts the terms and conditions contained in the Agreement should so indicate by having the appropriate authorizing officer sign the Agreement and submit it to the Director, Marketing Operations Staff, FAS, USDA. The Agreement will become effective when the Deputy Administrator signs the Agreement on behalf of CCC.


Application deadline is announced in the Federal Register.


The Emerging Markets Program is authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (FACT Act), as amended by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (FAIR Act) Section 1542 (d).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 120 days.


Not applicable.


Continuation or expansion of successful projects funded by the Program may be considered for future funding through separate application. Funding may be considered for projects which have already begun with the support and financial assistance of a private entity, and for which government funding for continuation of the project is justified. Such proposals must meet the criteria of the Emerging Markets Program, including cost-sharing.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

All applications must include an element of cost share. This is the amount of funding U.S. private organizations are willing to commit from their own resources along with those of the Program to seek export business in an emerging market.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Agreements generally include a beginning and end date. Projects are normally funded for one year although some multi-year projects may befunded by the Program, usually on a year-to-year basis.

Post Assistance Requirements


Implementors are required to submit regular progress reports, depending upon the length and nature of the project.

Progress reports are required for all projects with a duration of at least six months.

Final reports are to be submitted 60 days after completion of the project, both on diskette and in hard copy.


Participant projects 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 the Inspector General and the General Accounting Office. Accounts and records must be available for inspection or audit at any reasonable time.


Records must be maintained for at least three years after completion or termination of the Agreement or not more than five 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 $10,000,000; FY 08 est available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Projects are funded on a project by project basis and generally range from $5,000 to $500,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Program currently operates under guidelines.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Director, Marketing Operations Staff, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone (202) 720-4327.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

There are two elements that every private sector proposal must contain in order to be considered for funding under the Program: 1. Cost-share. This is the amount of funding U.S. private organizations are willing to commit from their own resources along with those of the Program to seek export business in an emerging market. No proposal will be considered without the element of cost-sharing, regardless of the underlying value of a proposal (the Emerging Markets Program complements, not supplants, export efforts of the U.S. private sector). A minimum or maximum amount of cost share is not specified. Rather, the degree of commitment to a proposed project represented by the percentage and type of private funding is a critical factor in determining which proposals will be funded under the Program. The type of cost-sharing is also not specified. It may be professional time of staff assigned to the project, or actual cash investment. Cost-sharing is not needed for government proposals, but it is required from private organizations who are party to a joint government/private proposal. 2. Justification for Federal Funding. What other sources of funding might be available? Why is funding from the Program required? What specifically could not be accomplished if funding were not provided?

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