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Genetically Modified Organisms: Finance

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support his Department has provided to (a) projects and (b) institutions involved in research into genetically modified species in each of the last five years. (200395)

In 2005-06, DFID contributed £1,553,000 to two programmes that included research using genetically modified (GM) techniques. These were the Plant Sciences Research Programme and the Aquaculture and Fish Genetics Research Programme. The main institutions that received grants included: Bangor University; Overseas Development Institute; Bath University; World Fish Centre; Stirling University; and, Asian Institute of Technology.

Since 2003 DFID has given £20 million per annum in unrestricted funding to the centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. A list of these, and other international organisations receiving DFID support, is shown as follows. Some of these use GM techniques. However, it is not possible to attribute DFID funding to specific activities.

From 2003 to 2008 DFID has provided £5 million to the African Agricultural Technology Foundation to facilitate access to both GM and conventional agricultural technologies. Last financial year DFID awarded £7.1 million of grants for research that will include the use of GM and non-GM biotechnologies. Details of these grants are provided in Table 1.

Names of international institutions receiving DFID support to conduct agricultural research

Africa Rice Center (formerly West African Rice Research and Development Authority)

World Vegetable Centre (formerly Asian Vegetable Research Development Centre)

Bioversity International (formerly International Plant Genetics Research Institute)

CABI—(formally Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux)

Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT)

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT)

Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP)

International Centre for Development Orientated Research in Africa (ICRA)

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

World Agro forestry Centre (formerly International Centre for Research on Agroforestry)

World Fish Centre (International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management)

Harvest Plus Challenge Programme

Water and Food Challenge Programme

Sub Saharan Challenge Programme

Genetic Diversity Challenge Programme

Table 2:Summary of Grants Awarded under the joint DFID and Biological and Biotechnology Science Research Council Sustainable Agriculture Research for International Development programme

Institutions

Country

Title

Budget (£)

Leeds University

UK

Nematode resistant plantain for African subsistence growers.

524,216

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Uganda

John Innes Centre

UK

Assessment of genetic biodiversity of durable disease resistance in African wheat genotypes, leading to the development of markers for wheat breeding.

662,385

University of Free State

South Africa

Nottingham University

UK

Phytoplasma diseases of coconuts: Understanding their transmission, and the sustainable breeding of resistant and tolerant varieties.

355,684

Oil Palm Research Institute

Ghana

Natural Resources Institute

UK

How resistant plant varieties avoid suppression of RNA silencing by viruses as exemplified by sweet potato: Better food security through virus control.

727,544

University of Cambridge

UK

Central Science Laboratory

UK

The International Potato Center

Peru

Makerere University

Uganda

National Agricultural Research Organisation

Uganda

University of Warwick

UK

Accelerated breeding of black rot resistant brassicas for the benefit of east African smallholders.

729,705

CABI

Kenya

Central Science Laboratory

UK

Rothamsted

UK

Towards incorporating the biosynthetic transformation required for Striga inhibition from Desmodium into edible legume intercrops.

620,877

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Kenya

Rothamsted

UK

Nutrient regulation of the saprotroph to parasite transition in Pochonia chlamydosporia, a soil microbial inoculant for nematode control.

408,308

University of Nairobi

Kenya

Aberdeen

UK

Characterizing genetic and soil induced variation in arsenic uptake, translocation and metabolism in rice to mitigate arsenic contamination in Asia.

657,328

Calcutta University

India

Bangladesh Agricultural University

Bangladesh

Chinese Academy of Sciences

China

International Rice Research Institute

Philippines

Rothamsted

UK

National Institute of Agricultural Botany

UK

Cis-acting regulatory elements in the rice genome: a novel source of alleles for rice breeding.

607,807

International Rice Research Institute

Philippines

Sheffield (WARDA)

UK

Unravelling the molecular genetic basis of Striga resistance in cereals: integrating Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) and genomic approaches.

596,880

International Crops

India

Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics African Rice Center

Senegal

National Institute of Agricultural Botany

UK

Lancaster University

UK

Understanding the mechanisms of persistence and dispersal of an insect pathogen and its potential for novel strategic control of African armyworms.

617,328

Natural Resources Institute, Greenwich

UK

Laurentian University

Canada

Sokoine University of Agriculture

Tanzania

Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research

UK

Integrating genomics and mapping approaches to improve pearl millet productivity in drought prone regions of Africa and Asia.

634,859

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

India

University of Cape Coast

Ghana

All India Coordinated RP on Pearl Millet

India

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on providing support for research into the development and use of genetically modified species variations. (200397)

DFID recognises that the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can have potential significant benefits for farmers in developing countries if applied safely and responsibly. At the same time, an over-riding objective is to safeguard human health and the environment and to give consumers informed choices. Our policy is that DFID will support research involving GMOs as long as international rules, including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, are followed and it is targeted to help developing countries make their own informed choices about whether to use GM technologies.