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Home Grown Cereals Authority

Volume 134: debated on Thursday 9 June 1988

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14.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met the chairman of the Home Grown Cereals Authority; and what matters were discussed.

The last time I met the chairman of the HGCA was on 13 April when he and other senior figures from levy-funded bodies came to discuss the industry funding of research in agriculture, fisheries and food.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. In those discussions did he raise with the HGCA the possibility of the use of that research for low-cost, low-input, limited output varieties that will reduce the technological pressure on the CAP rather than exacerbate them?

No, because we were not discussing individual items of research. However, I know that research into that matter is going on and a good deal of it will be longer-term. Basically, we were discussing possibilities for more industry funding of near market research, to ensure that the taxpayer was getting value for money and that there were proper priorities in any Government funded research. We also want to ensure proper commercial exploitation of the research that we do. That is what the discussion was concentrating on.