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Robert Francis Innes's last resume prepared in the early 1990's

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Graduate-University of 'Wales; Post Graduate- King's College Cambridge, Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture Trinidad.

Honours degree in Natural Sciences and Agriculture, thereafter studies and research specializing in the evaluation, development and management of Natural Resources.

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and one time Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Career Overview:

H.M. Colonial Agricultural Service Jamaica; promoted Senior Soils Scientist Malaya but resigned from the Colonial Agricultural Service preferring to accept the offer and more direct challenges of industry; Director of R. and D. the Sugar Industry of Jamaica; founding Technical Director of Booker Agriculture International ( a subsidiary of Booker PLC of London England which became subsequently Booker Tate International Ltd, jointly owned by Booker PLC. and Tate and Lyle PLC); was invited to apply for the post of Senior Agricultural Adviser to the British Government's Department of Overseas Development(the current equivalent of the most senior post in the old Colonial Agricultural Service). Has served as international Agricultural Consultant to Acres International of Niagara Falls, Ontario (in the course of which he was involved in projects financed by CIDA and others.


From HM. Queen Elizabeth the Second - Commander of the Order of the British Empire; From the University of the West Indies - Doctor of Science

Both were awarded in recognition of service to Jamaica - for the advances made in its agricultural economy, and in its overall economy as a result of his reporting of Jamaica's extensive reserves of bauxite - an important ore of Aluminium. (When Alcan Jamaica went into production he became involved in the agricultural restoration of their mined areas and was also instrumental in having the Company join with the Sugar Companies in the improvement of their considerable areas of pasture and their cattle.

International Career:

Responsible for the technical direction of the diversification of the Booker involvement in tropical agriculture from sugarcane in Guyana (since c.1800AD) and the West Indies into sugar and agriculture in general, dispersed over the tropics and sub-tropics; and finally - into temperate agriculture in the UK where the Company now is one of the largest corporate joint farming and forest management enterprises whose associates include some of the country's large land owners, private individuals; major financial institutions and pension funds.

He was Technical Director and adviser to Booker companies' involved in US farm management (at their peak, managing 400,000 acres odd), and to whom he was responsible for the evaluation of natural resources and related development in different parts of the country.

Was also technically responsible for the successful development of Booker's entry into commercial salmon farming on the West Coast of Scotland.( They are now one of the largest producers in Europe and currently hold the coveted French Cordon Rouge for quality farmed salmon,The British Government and the EEC have recognized the Company's positive contribution to the economy of one of the most depressed areas of the UK).

Was also responsible for Bookers entry into marine aqua culture on the BC west coast, and for evaluating other related resources and mari-culture opportunities.

Has served on the boards of a variety of companies associated with some of the above, the last being a seeds company in Alberta, and he still remains a consultant to Booker Tate International Ltd.

In all he has been involved in about fifty countries covering most of the ecological zones of the planet and from below sea level to Himalayan elevations. Increasingly, integrated development has become the foundation for success and whilst crops for export may be sometimes a factor, it is of the greatest importance to pay attention to the internal economy of a country, to the preservation and improved management of the natural resources, and to agricultural diversity as well as a balance between plantation agriculture and small settler development (Interestingly, rather parallel considerations apply to fish farming and aqua culture.

In developing and managing projects importance has been attached to training ,whether at the individual farm level or at the overall project level, the objective being to leave in place highly efficient enterprises totally managed, whatever the technology and disciplines utilized) by nationals themselves. To this end inter-project experience and technical training schools are developed, sometimes on an ongoing basis, as well as the continuing use of project operated and directed applied research adequate to monitor the project's current variance and to cater for the project's continued future optimum development. Projects have even included correcting deficiencies in the local infrastructure if these are critical to the success of the development e.g., to schools and health care, and to pioneering such fundamental requirements as overall river valley authorities or other regional-related control requirements . The Juba valley in Somalia is a case in point, alas unnecessarily tested and damaged by Russian and Chinese competition for political influence in the Horn of Africa (preceding the country's tragic current state).

Some Other Aspects:

Studies and projects have involved a variety of partnerships and associations including the "World Bank", the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Industry Development Plan, the principal International Aid institutions, Governments and Government Agencies, private Banks and Corporations including Bookers' own finance - the last a feature shared by few Third World consultants, contractors or managers, and an important test in many situations of credibility; as is performance related remuneration.

Has served on various government boards, commissions. authorities and inquiries, many country specific dealing inter alia with agricultural policy, education and industrialization, and others of international status such as for the World Bank, the International Sugar Technologists Association (vice-president) and affiliated Associations, The hnperial College of Tropical Agriculture, subsequently to become the University of the West Indies, the West Indies Sugar Cane Breeding Station; etc.

Has kept in close contact with an extensive network of scientists at international agricultural research institutions maintained by governments, universities and private enterprise. Sponsored the compilation and publication (Longmans) of a reference Manual dealing with soils evaluation, incorporating Booker Agriculture International's extensive experience. The Manual appears to be catering successfully to a strong international demand.

The largest Project:

The overall technical direction of a consortium lead by Booker Agriculture International in association with Iranian official and unofficial nationals to define and to develop a plan to maximize Iran's domestic food production in response to the country's reducing oil reserves. The associated studies involved inter alia an evaluation of Iran's relevant natural resources, existing agriculture and the factors affecting it, such as education, research facilities and extension, marketing, credit, the role of government departments and the internal administration of the country, traditional and social conditions affecting agriculture and how to initiate change using amongst other matters, a series of closely monitored,. large, expanding development areas. The work was well advanced when the Shah was overthrown.


It is sad that the future of once efficient enterprises owned by the parent companies of Booker Tate International, and others including those owned by the Governments and nationals of other countries, to varying degrees indigenously managed (including total), are gravely threatened or worse.. Thus it comes about that Booker Tate are back in Guyana and Jamaica, as well as in St. Kitts and Barbados at the invitation of the Governments, assisting in the re-establishing of viable modern sugar industries - a phenomenon which has been variously repeated elsewhere and has become increasingly prevalent internationally - a phenomenon also, often enormously exacerbated by the early exodus of trained,experienced indigenous personnel - frequently the best, to more advanced, industrialized countries. An understanding of the above and why it should have happened in the countries specifically mentioned, especially with their long histories of educational, business and social interchange with North America and the United Kingdom, is of particular importance and needs pursuing. Their problems, generally, are part of the much wider complex which afflicts the Third and Developing "Worlds at large - the unsustainable population densities, expanding at explosive rates; the unstable climatic phenomena characteristic of the inter - tropical frontal systems, often of catastrophic proportions; the degraded state of their natural resources and of much of their investment, especially in irrigation and other infrastructural works; the lack of capital and the absence of integrated development and management within regions defined by catchments i.e., by watersheds or other definable regulated areas ; the clout and quality of public opinion as well as the quality and stability of governments; the effects of tribalism, religious intolerance and the degree of exposure to conflicting internationally directed ideologies.

In the development and stabilizing of rural communities experience shows that there is no substitute for highly integrated, indigenously managed projects (developments) with large multiplier effects e.g., inter alia developments which pay particular attention to small settler agriculture where farmers have experienced success and understand its causes. Successful farmers are quick to learn what influences their livelihood and to defend it. But the maximizing of regional productivity and with it the stabilizing of rural communities also demands that primary production be extended by adding value, all supported by related services and, if possible, by a degree of supplementary,miscellaneous industrialization. In all of this, little can be more damaging than inept government interference in pricing, in the way international aid inkind is managed (often to the severe detriment of agricultural production), and in. the lack of the coordination inherent in any viable plan of regional development.

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