Crop Biotech Update

Analysis of Potential Impacts of Bt Eggplant in India

May 23, 2008

Vijesh Krishna and Matin Qaim have concluded that the Bt eggplant technology can reduce insecticide applications and pest-related yield losses, thus increasing the productivity of eggplant production in India. The results of their study published in the journal Agricultural Economics used data from Bt eggplant multilocation field trials, as well as survey data from 360 eggplant farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and West Bengal. The three Indian states together account for almost half of the total eggplant production in the country.

The researchers stated that the aggregate economic surplus gains of Bt eggplant hybrids could be around Rs. 4.9 billion (US$108 million) per year. About half of the overall gains will be captured by consumers through a projected decrease in eggplant prices. In addition, they have calculated that eggplant farmers will benefit from the Bt eggplant technology on expected health cost savings which are worth around Rs. 135–184 million (US$3–4 million) per year.

The paper is available to journal subscribers at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2007.00290.x