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Volume 886: debated on Thursday 20 February 1975

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development what assistance is being given by the United Kingdom to Sudan in connection with the programme to bring 50 million hectares of arable land in that country into productive use for food.

Our aid programme to the Sudan provides strong support for Sudanese efforts to expand agricultural production. Of £10·729 million currently committed in capital aid, £10·407 million is committed to projects with a direct bearing upon agriculture, in particular £8·349 million for the construction of a road between the Blue and White Niles—Wad Medani/Sennar/Kosti—which will greatly improve the ease of movement from and through that area of agricultural produce.In our technical assistance programme we have 10 agricultural projects, ranging from a study of co-operative groundnut marketing to large-scale support for a campaign to eradicate rinderpest. These will take over 40 per cent. of the annual technical assistance budget for the Sudan.