California awarded about $4.5 million in matching funds to 97 agricultural producers who are participating in the state Department of Food and Agriculture's export program. When the participants' monies are added, "it will amount to about $13 million being targeted to actively sell and promote California's agricultural exports around the world," said Jack Parnell, department director.
"Pacific Rim countries again are where the top dollars will be spent to promote California's agricultural products, accounting for 52% of the total," he said. "This fits the world economic picture well, as a large share of the economic growth is occurring in Asia."
About one third of the funds were devoted to promotion in Canada of products ranging from dried fruit and nuts to fresh fruit, vegetables and wines. The state began the export program in 1986 to help reverse the sharp drop in California farm exports.