The US Department of Agriculture has announced today that 71 agricultural trade promotion projects will receive nearly $10m to support generic promotion and distribution of US agricultural products, trade missions, and research on new markets.

The 2005 emerging markets programme also supports activities that encourage free trade policies and enhance the effectiveness of the food and agribusiness systems of emerging markets.

"These activities will help foster US agricultural exports to low- and middle-income growth markets," said deputy agriculture secretary Chuck Conner. "Expanding sales in these markets is critical for America's agricultural economy."

This year's recipients include trade groups, nonprofit organizations, universities and federal agencies. Projects will be conducted in Asia, South America, the Caribbean, Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Africa.

The programme was authorised by the 1990 Farm Bill, amended by the 1996 Farm Bill and reauthorized by the 2002 Farm Bill.