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Research And Development

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has received the third report from the Priorities Board for Research and Development in Agriculture and Food; and if he will make a statement.

The Priorities Board for Research and Development in Agriculture and Food has submitted its third report to the Agriculture Ministers and to the chairman of the Agricultural and Food Research Council. We greatly appreciate the work which Dr. Brian Smith and the members of the board have put into their report.The report gives advice to the sponsors about future resource allocations and priorities for the publicly funded agricultural and food research and development effort as a whole. It also discusses a number of matters related to the research and development programme. The board supports the Government's aims to encourage industry to take a greater responsibility for funding near market research and development. This will produce changes to the balance and content of the sponsors' research programmes, which the board has taken into account in making its recommendations on future resource allocations. These changes have also persuaded the board to reclassify the Government's agricultural and food research programme into four categories: natural resources, plants, animals and food. The report recommends that the allocation of expenditure to each sector should he as follows:

Per cent.
Natural resources12
The sponsors are agreed that, subject to a full consideration of the resource implications, the recommendations should guide the allocation of resources to the future research and development programme. Discussions will be held between the sponsors to plan the implementation of the recommendations.The sponsors have also agreed that the report should be published. This is now being arranged and advance copies are being placed in the Library of the House.