HC Deb 22 February 1988 vol 128 cc16-7
61. Mr. Andrew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is planning any meetings with officials from the International Fund for Agricultural Development to discuss investment policy; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister for Overseas Development (Mr. Chris Patten)

No, Sir.

Mr. Smith

In view of the good track record of the International Fund for Agricultural Development in investing in agriculture for the benefit of those who need it most — the rural poor — will the Minister give an undertaking that Britain will contribute to the next replenishment of IFAD funds? Will he consider making a larger contribution than we have made in the past, so that this country can give a lead in obtaining adequate resources for a viable level of work from this invaluable organisation?

Mr. Patten

As the hon. Gentleman probably knows, we have committed about £47 million so far to IFAD, including £7 million for the special programme for Africa. We are playing, and will continue to play, our full part in the negotiations about the next replenishment. I was pleased to be able to discuss that issue, among others, with the president of IFAD—who does a splended job—as recently as last November.