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Food: Overseas Aid

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department plans to take to implement its commitment to agricultural and food security research related to developing countries supported by the UK science base in co-operation with UK research councils. (319936)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing funds for agricultural research to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This enables us to harness the UK's world-class bioscience base to address the challenges of agricultural growth and food security in developing countries.

We fund two programmes jointly with BBSRC: a crop science programme, to which DFID contributes £5.34 million; and a livestock disease research programme, to which DFID contributes £9.7 million.

We are exploring a third collaboration with BBSRC into crop science which can help withstand the impact of climate change. DFID is also working with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and other public sector funders to improve coordination of agriculture and food security related research.