NIHC 2024 RAPP Funding


WASHINGTON, May 29, 2024—The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) is proud to announce it has received $745,000 in funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the funding that aims to boost American food and farm exports in promising international markets.

“We extend our gratitude to the USDA for recognizing the vital role of industrial hemp in global export markets,” said NIHC President and CEO Patrick Atagi. “This funding is crucial for advancing the industry through NIHC’s efforts to promote US hemp as a safe, high-quality and sustainable commodity used in various products, from clothing to building materials to fuels.”

Launched in October, the USDA’s $1.2 billion RAPP program is designed to help U.S. exporters expand their reach beyond traditional markets. The focus is on regions with growing consumer demand and purchasing power, such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South and Southeast Asia. NIHC is among 66 organizations receiving a share of the first $300 million allotment. For a complete list of RAPP funding recipients, click here.

Atagi, who recently returned from the Asia Hemp Business and Expo in Bangkok, emphasized that the funding will enable the US industrial hemp industry to forge global partnerships and strengthen its position in the international marketplace. A standout feature of the US industrial hemp sector is the NIHC Verify program, which mandates that products be tested in laboratories that have passed a Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) certification audit. This program underpins NIHC’s mission to promote testing transparency, uphold standards, boost consumer confidence and ensure product safety.



The NIHC is a global advocate for the sustainable, long-term growth and profitability of industrial hemp. Based in Washington, D.C., NIHC’s membership includes growers, sellers and laboratories. The organization engages in advocacy, international development and consumer programs, including the exclusive NIHC Verify program, which promotes testing transparency, standards compliance, consumer confidence and product safety. To learn more, visit