§ Mr. William Powell
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many tonnes, at what public cost and for what reason, of potatoes have been spoilt with dye to make them unfit for human consumption in 1984 and in each of the preceding four years.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The Agriculture Act 1957 empowers the Government to provide potato producers in the United Kingdom with guaranteed prices or assured markets.
No separate payments are made to the Potato Marketing Board for potatoes disposed of for stockfeed. The quantities of potatoes so disposed of as part of the guarantee arrangements during the crop years 1980–84, and the total public expenditure cost of market support, are as follows:
Crop Year '000 tonnes £ million 1980 496 15.7 1981 — — 1982 224 *8.0 1983 — — 1984 †10 — * Including loans of £5.9 million. † To 9 November 1984.