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Crop Biotech Update

BARI DG Faced the Media on Bt Brinjal Commercialization

April 2, 2014

Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam Mondal, Director General of Bangladesh Agricultural Institute explained in a press conference last March12, 2014 the development and deployment of Bt brinjal (eggplant) in Bangladesh. Dr. Mondal explained that the scientist team from Bangladesh Agricultural Institute (BARI) along with Mahyco-Monsanto have developed 9 varieties of Bt Brinjal and back crossed with its respective Bangladeshi varieties in 2005. BARI, a government institute received the gene from the development partners royalty free on the condition that the improved brinjal will be distributed among the farmers for free.Selected lines were tested for fruit and shoot borer resistance in the glasshouse, confined/contained field trial, multilocational trial and the final yield trial following stringent regulatory process of the International Cartagena Biosafety Protocol and the Gazetted Biosafety Guideline of Bangladesh. Finally, the Ministry of Environment and Forests approved the release of four  varieties.

Around100 journalists and scientists participated in the discussion which focused on biosafety, biodiversity and the environment effects of Bt eggplant. BARI assured the media that they will conduct close monitoring of the performance and safety of the biotech crop.

For inquiries on the media conference and biotechnology status in Bangladesh,contact Prof. Dr. Khondoker Nasiruddin at nasirbiotech@yahoo.com.