§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will consider introducing incentives for industries who will seek to develop processes for using home-grown crops for industrial purposes as substitutes for imported wood pulp and similar materials;
(2) what steps have been taken to encourage industry to make use of crops for purposes other than food.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Within the Link initiative a new programme entitled "Crops for Industrial Use" has recently been announced. It involves five sponsors—the agricultural and food research council, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, the science and engineering research council and the Department of Trade and Industry—with the agricultural and food research council taking the lead. It is timely to encourage industry to examine the potential for the such use of crops and the programme is an opportunity to participate in the underpinning research necessary, to inform commercial judgments on exploitation.