Crop Biotech Update

Success of Bt Brinjal in Bangladesh Opens Possibility for Two New Eggplant Varieties

April 21, 2021

Bt brinjal (eggplant) became widely-adopted biotech product in Bangladesh in just seven years. Breeders from Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) are developing two eggplant varieties that can withstand both eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) and bacterial wilt. 

Bacterial wilt is found in plants and then lingers in the soil in most parts of Bangladesh and second to EFSB in causing significant crop loss in brinjal. It cannot be controlled by chemical sprays and can only be managed by planting varieties that are resistant to the disease. After successfully releasing two EFSB resistant eggplant varieties, Bari Begun-10 and Bari Begun 11, BARI is now developing varieties with resistance to both FSB and bacterial wilt. With the fast adoption rate of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh, the researchers are hopeful that the new varieties will have the potential to help the farmers increase their profits even more.

Bt brinjal farmers in Bangladesh have increased their yield and reduced chemical pesticide application since its adoption in 2014. A government impact assessment study in 2018 has found out that farmers who cultivated Bt brinjal gained 55% higher income and are less prone to health hazards caused by using chemical pesticides compared to non-Bt brinjal growers.

For more details, read the news release in British Crop Production Council and Dhaka Tribune.

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