HL Deb 26 March 1975 vol 358 cc1284-6WA
Baroness VICKERS

asked Her Majesty's Government :

What progress has been made since 1970 in building up a corps of experts in rural development which was referred to in paragraph 50 of Education in Developing Countries (Ministry of Overseas Development, September 1970) ; how many women have been recruited to the corps; and what provision has been made in Britain for the appropriate training facilities.


The possibility of building up a body of experts in rural development was one of the ideas presented for wider discussion in the publicationEducation in Developing Countries. No formal separate corps has been set up but within the wider based Corps of Specialists 32 out of 70 present members are agricultural or education specialists concerned directly or indirectly with rural development. None of these posts is at present filled by a woman. Two additional advisory posts have been created within the Ministry bearing on rural development, a sociologist within the Population Bureau and one on social development. Both are filled by women. In 1970, after a review of provision in the United King- dom of training facilities for rural development, the Ministry decided to increase its support for the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Centre at the University of Reading; further discussions with the university about future support for the centre are at present taking place. The centre provides courses for both men and women from developing countries. In addition, there are a number of courses at other institutions in, for example, food resources related to community development, which are attended by students and trainees from developing countries sponsored by ODM. My right honourable friend the Minister of Overseas Development is at present considering how technical assistance and training might best be provided in relation to the emphasis in aid policy on rural development and food production and to the following up of the Commonwealth meeting earlier this month.

House adjourned at twenty-four minutes before eight o'clock.