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Crop Biotech Update

Cultivation of Bt Brinjal Starts in Bangladesh

January 29, 2014

Bangladesh has formally started cultivation of the country's first genetically modified (GM) crop, Bt brinjal. Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury officially distributed Bt brinjal saplings to 20 farmers from Jamalpur, Gazipur, Pabna, and Rangpur districts at a ceremony held at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) on January 22, 2014.

During the ceremony, the Minister said "We have decided to start cultivating Bt brinjal after different necessary tests at home and abroad. We took long time to experiment all pros and cons for introducing the cultivation of this variety."

According to BARI Director General Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam Mondal, who also spoke during the ceremony, seeds of Bt brinjal will be made available to all farmers in the country later this year. The new varieties are BARI Bt (Uttara), BARI Bt (Kajla), BARI Bt (Nayontar) and ISD006 Bt BARI.

The Bangladesh government paved the way for the release of Bt brinjal when the National Committee on Biosafety of the Ministry of Environment and Forest officially approved its release on October 30, 2013.

For more details, read the news release at: http://btbrinjal.tumblr.com/seedlings.