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Horticulture: Research

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether his Department plans to increase its funding for horticultural research in the next three years; (302476)

(2) what funding his Department has provided for horticultural research and development in the last 12 months;

(3) how much funding his Department provided for agricultural and horticultural research in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009 to date.

Funding for DEFRA's farming and food research and development programme is allocated in line with the Department's strategic priorities and policy evidence requirements. DEFRA is currently developing a new Evidence Investment Strategy which will inform priorities for future years.

Research investment in the farming and food area is within cross-cutting programmes, for example agriculture and climate change and sustainable farming systems, and these programmes include activity relevant to the horticulture sector.

Within these programmes, in the current financial year, DEFRA has committed approximately £4.5 million on research relevant to horticulture. £6.7 million was spent on similar work in the 2008-09 financial year.

Overall, DEFRA invested £63 million in 2008-09 on food and agricultural (including horticultural) research. It is anticipated that funding will be similar in 2009-10.