§ Sir R. Russell
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth 88W Affairs if he will give an account of the work of the Anti-Locust Research Centre during 1970–71; what is the programme of the Centre for 1971–72; and which other countries contribute towards the cost of this work.
§ Mr. Wood
The Anti-Locust Research Centre is one of the component scientific units of the Overseas Development Administration. The Centre has concentrated mainly on work on locusts and grasshoppers, but has recently used the techniques developed for locust research and control against other pests of tropical agriculture.
The Centre is concerned with research, training and information, which it carries out both in Britain and overseas. It works abroad in co-operation with international organisations such as the United Nation's Development Programme and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, international control organisations like, for example, the Desert Locust Control Organisation of East Africa, and with the national laboratories of many countries. Requests for help in research and training overseas have greatly increased over the last ten years, and during 1970–71 more than a fifth of the staff of the Centre were abroad continuously. The Centre carries out an extensive programme of training which includes courses on control of insect pests of agriculture at several Universities. It also provides facilities for training of F.A.O. fellows. The programme of work of the Centre covers both fundamental and applied biology but is oriented towards the production of safer, more efficient and more economical methods of control of agricultural pests. It includes work in the field of taxonomy, physiology, ethology, genetics, ecology and toxicology.
The main part of the programme for 1971–72 will consist of the continuation of the present research work in the laboratories in London and on the overseas projects. Numerous further requests for assistance have been received for 1971–72.
The major financial support for the Centre comes from Aid Votes, with a budget of £326,000 for 1971–72 and some additional support for research projects. Other contributions come from F.A.O. and some other international organisations and Governments.