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Overseas Pest Research Centre

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development what is the cost to public funds of the overseas pest research centre; what are its activities; how many people it employs; when was it formed; and what was the total number of staff employed at its inception.

The Centre for Overseas Pest Research (COPR) is one of the major scientific units of the Ministry of Overseas Development and financed from our aid programme. The cost in the last financial year was £1·1 million: the estimate for this financial year is of the order of £1·4 million.The Centre was formed on 1st June 1971 by a merger of four existing scientific units originally set up by the Colonial Office. These were the Anti-Locust Research Centre, the Tropical Pesticides Research Unit, the Tropical Pesticides Research Headquarters and Information Unit, and the Termite Research Unit. When these four units were amalgamated, the total staff numbered 129 and in the intervening period has increased to 142. The Centre is a unique and most valuable organisation with over 60 years of experience in pest and vector control in tropical countries.The Centre's purpose is to assist overseas countries, particularly developing countries, to solve their problems in the fields of agriculture and public health. It is an internationally recognised institute of high repute.