HC Deb 17 July 1995 vol 263 cc1309-10
42. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what countries receive aid from Her Majesty's Government in the form of agricultural expertise. [32797]

Mr. Hanley

We provide agricultural expertise through the bilateral aid programme to some 38 countries. I shall place a list of those countries in the Library of the House for the hon. Gentleman's assistance.

Mr. Pike

Is not it important for agricultural expertise to be given on every occasion possible? Does the Minister recognise the importance of the problems which have existed in Pakistan for the past few years caused by the pest that is doing so much damage to the cotton crop, and thereby to the whole economy, of that country?

Mr. Hanley

Yes, I agree very much with the hon. Gentleman's opening remarks. We spent some £58 million on all aspects of technical co-operation—including expertise in agriculture, livestock and fisheries—in 1993–94, and the equivalent figure for forestry and agri-forestry is some £28 million. The ODA, through the Natural Resources Institute in Chatham, has supported research into the control of cotton pests in Pakistan since 1985, with current research focusing on the use of pheromones in controlling cotton pests and on ways of combating the resistance of pests to chemical sprays. I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's interest in the matter.