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SUSTA Allocated RAPP Funding


SUSTA Awarded Over $9 Million in Funding for Export Market Diversification

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, May 22, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the Southern United States Trade Association will be allocated $9.38 million under the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) to build demand for American food and farm exports in high-potential markets around the globe. A total of $300 million in RAPP funding was allocated to 66 U.S. organizations.

Following the announcement of RAPP in October 2023, SUSTA worked with southern member state Departments of Agriculture to develop strategies that will expand southern U.S. agricultural exports in developing markets where the middle class is growing and there is potential for high quality products. The strategies span up to five years and include extensive market education, laying a strong foundation from which southern U.S. exporters can grow.

Specifically, SUSTA’s RAPP strategies will help diversify exports to Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Morocco), Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam), Central America (Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic and Guatemala), Caribbean, South America (Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil) and India.

“Many agribusinesses and producers of various food and agriculture products are not aware of the potential and opportunities in these developing markets. SUSTA’s objective is to educate our exporters and provide opportunities to make meaningful business connections. We are grateful to USDA for valuing market diversification to maximize growth and minimize risk for our small agri-business exporters,” said Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, Executive Director, SUSTA.

“We are grateful for the funds given to SUSTA by the USDA and believe this will provide the organization the ability to expand the knowledge around agriculture globally,” said Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate. “As President of SUSTA, I am excited to see how we grow with these new allocations.”

The USDA, under the direction of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, launched RAPP in October 2023, authorizing $1.2 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to help U.S. exporters expand their customer base beyond traditional and established markets, focusing on regions such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South and Southeast Asia, where consumer demand and purchasing power are growing. Today’s announcement is for the first round of RAPP funding.

To view the complete list of organizations that received RAPP funding, please visit the following link: FY 2024 RAPP Funding Allocations.


The Southern United States Trade Association is a non-profit organization that facilitates trade between small to medium-sized southern U.S. companies and overseas importers. Since 1973, SUSTA has worked with the Departments of Agriculture to increase the export of southern U.S. food and agricultural products and enhance the economic well-being of the region