§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received about the causes of the reduction of Pakistan's cotton crop with particular reference to viral infection; what assistance Her Majesty's Government will give in(a) research and (b) direct assistance to combat them; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
We have received reports from both our high commission and scientific staff at the Natural Resources Institute, who are currently working in Pakistan, on all factors affecting the cotton crop in Pakistan. This includes the current problem of leaf curl virus.
Through the NRI, ODA has supported a research project on cotton pest management in Pakistan since 1985. The latest phase of this project started in 1992 and is due to end in March 1996. ODA is also funding a study to determine the scope for further assistance in tackling this problem.