§ 67. Mr. Jacques Arnold
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the overseas aid programme contains any provision for developing new technologies to increase food production in developing countries.
§ 69. Mr. Favell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the Overseas Development Administration is taking to increase food production in developing countries through research on sustainable systems of agriculture.
§ Mrs. Chalker
I regard research on sustainable agricultural systems for developing countries and its dissemination as an important part of the British aid programme. The Overseas Development Administration has recently published a new "Strategy for Research on Renewable Natural Resources", a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House. This strategy lays stress on the need for all natural resources research programmes to take account of factors which make for sustainable and environmentally sound development. Total expenditure on renewable natural resources research under the Overseas Development Administration research strategy in FY 1989–90, including contributions to the programmes of international agricultural research centres, will be some £19 million, of which nearly 90 per cent. will be related to food production and the technologies needed to increase it. Specific research programmes which bear directly on agricultural sustainability will include among others farming systems, agroforestry and soil science, and will be carried out at centres of excellence such as the Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute and the Oxford Forestry Institute. The transfer and adaptation of newly developed technologies is assisted through our bilateral country programmes.