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12 Jul 2005 : Column 1002W—continued


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Government of China about the one child policy. [10561]

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Mr. Thomas: I have not had any recent discussions with the Government of China about the one child policy. DFID supports the work of the United Nations Population Fund, which seeks to demonstrate that an approach to reproductive health and family planning which delivers quality care to its recipients is a viable alternative to an administrative system driven by targets.

Deforestation (Brazil)

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps (a) the EU and (b) the UK are taking to support the action plan of the Brazilian Government to prevent and control deforestation in the Legal Amazon. [10129]

Mr. Thomas: The Brazilian Government are working on a range of short and long-term responses to tackle deforestation in the Amazon. These actions are set out in the National Forestry Programme and its Sustainable Amazon Plan. The Sustainable Amazon Plan was a product of the £186 million multi-donor Pilot Programme for the Preservation of Rainforests (PPG7). DFID has directly contributed £14 million to PPG7 since 1993. DFID's support for PPG7 was completed in 2004–05, with the exception of a project to support the livelihoods of indigenous people, which will end in March 2007.

DFID provides support to Brazilian Government efforts through non-governmental organisations and international financial institutions. DFID's Partnership Programme Agreement with the World Wildlife Fund (£800,000 a year in 2005–06 to 2007–08) enables them to enhance their work on the environment and deforestation in Brazil. Through DFID's membership of the World Bank a $0.5 billion loan was approved to promote environmental sustainability in Brazil. The environment is also a focus of the European Commission's five-year £180 million co-operation with Brazil, providing £65 million in support of PPG7.

HMG are currently funding over £1 million of on-going initiatives to promote sustainable management of Brazil's forests and biodiversity. These include £239,800 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Global Opportunities Fund for a project aiming to combat deforestation by developing a scheme for forest-friendly" soya production.

The UK, under the lead of DEFRA, has this year launched a high-level Sustainable Development Dialogue with Brazil on how best to promote sustainable development, including on deforestation in the Amazon region.

Departmental Advertising

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Department spent on advertising in each of the last five years. [10232]

Hilary Benn: We do not hold a separate advertising budget; the majority of advertising relates to recruitment advertising in newspapers and journals. Figures for the five calendar years 2000–05 are as follows. Expenditure figures for the previous years are not available:
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EU Sugar Regime

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the European Commission's proposals for changes to the EU sugar pricing and subsidy regime on African Caribbean Pacific countries; and if he will make a statement. [9266]

Mr. Thomas: The EU sugar regime is an anachronism and must be reformed. It supports EU growers and processors with expensive subsidies, to the disadvantage of efficient developing country exporters. The EU is one of the highest cost producers in the world, yet it is also the second largest exporter, thanks to these subsidies.

The existing system leads many African Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) country producers to export raw sugar to the EU even when it is not profitable to do so, meaning that scarce government resources are often diverted to maintain a sugar industry. It also forces the EU to dump approximately five million tonnes of heavily subsidised sugar on the world market each year. This keeps the world price low, making it difficult for developing country producers to sell in their own markets locally, as well as making it harder for them to export. Reform should create an environment where growers make their decisions on the basis of their own competitiveness, not on how much money they will be paid in subsidies, and enable Least Developed Countries (LDC)s to benefit in a sustainable manner from the duty-free and quota-free access to Europe that they will receive for sugar by 2009 under the Everything But Arms initiative.

We are aware, however, that reform will have serious ramifications for some of the 18 African Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Sugar Protocol countries that receive preferential access to the European market. These countries will face a price cut of up to 39 per cent. for their sugar exports to Europe. Some of them export only a relatively small proportion of their sugar crop to Europe, but others are heavily dependent on the European market. In Guyana, for example, sugar production makes up 18 per cent. of GDP, most of which is exported to Europe. We believe that reform could cost the ACP up to €500 million per year in lost revenues and lost foreign exchange. This is why we have placed such an emphasis on the transitional assistance measures that are an integral part of the overall reform. The UK has been pushing for timely and adequate assistance to be made available, and we have been working with the ACP to help them to develop the country plans through which assistance will be delivered.

DFID funded a workshop in Trinidad in March involving the European Commission and the Caribbean Sugar Protocol countries to begin this process, and we will also be providing some £200,000, with similar levels
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of joint funding from the European Commission, to help produce these country plans in the Caribbean. The Commission anticipates that the plans will provide for a combination of trade and aid measures to improve productivity in the sugar sector, to assist diversification into other sectors and to respond to the broader impacts of adjustment (such as on social services and macro-economic stability), with the balance between these varying country by country. We will continue to work with the ACP and the Commission to make transitional assistance available in good time and as, effective as possible.

Good Governance (Africa)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries in Africa are assessed as having good governance. [9630]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 5 July 2005]: Africa needs effective states that govern justly, invest in their own people and are accountable to them. There is no perfect system—and we give priority to assessing and supporting improvements in governance over time rather than simple status at any point in time. The various aspects of governance also need to be considered.

The World Bank monitors standards of governance every year. Their data shows that 'voice and accountability' significantly improved in Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Tanzania between 1996 and 2004. Within the same time-span, 'government effectiveness' significantly improved in Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And 'control of corruption' significantly improved in Gabon, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Further details of this report can be found in the document entitled Governance Matters IV: New Data, New Challenges" of which I have arranged for copies to be deposited in the Libraries of the House.


Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to encourage horticulture in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. [9272]

Mr. Thomas: Horticulture is playing an increasingly important role in driving agricultural growth and providing sustainable livelihoods for millions of poor households.

In middle-income and many larger developing countries, household spending on fruit and vegetables is rising rapidly relative to that on basic food staples, providing new levels of demand for agricultural products. In India for example, horticulture already accounts for over half the value of agricultural output.

Elsewhere, high value fruit and vegetable exports continue to expand, providing export earnings and much needed employment. This is especially evident in sub-Saharan Africa, where the annual value of horticulture exports now exceeds $2 billion with particularly strong growth in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania
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and Ghana. Small-scale production is playing a major part in this; in Kenya small-scale farmers produce 75 per cent. of fresh produce exports to the EU.

We are supporting research through our contribution to the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (currently £300,000 in core funding) and our bilateral research programme is assisting the development of smallholder horticulture in Eastern and Southern Africa. We have also successfully persuaded the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to include horticulture within its research priorities for 2005–15.

We are also focusing on the challenges which increasingly stringent product standards (often set by the retail trade itself) present to developing country producers, particularly smallholders, seeking access to valuable European markets. We have recently begun a three-year programme working with retailers, importers, standard-setting bodies (in particular the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group—Good Agricultural Practices (EUREPGAP) and producers, aimed at ensuring that standards and other procurement practices do not discriminate against small-scale producers.

We are also active in a number of countries. For example in Kenya, through a programme to promote the development of business services in horticulture, DFID has supported export horticultural development to the tune of £582,000 in the last two years. An additional £290,000 will be spent by June 2006. Much of these funds are spent assisting smallholders to cope with the process and cost of compliance with EUREPGAP standards.

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