Biotech Updates

US Supports Further Research of Bt Eggplants in Bangladesh, Philippines

January 19, 2022

Cornell University announced that it received an award grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to continue the efforts to bring genetically engineered (GE) eggplant varieties to farmers in Bangladesh and the Philippines.

USAID has provided Cornell's Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership a grant amounting to US$10 million as part of the Feed the Future initiative by the US government. The grant aims to help continue the efforts to introduce the GE eggplants in the two countries. The transgenic eggplants were developed by researchers to be resistant to their major insect pest which in turn helps decrease the amount of pesticide applied to the crops during production.

According to Cornell, the partnership also aims to engage policymakers regarding regulatory pathways in preparation for the eggplants' commercialization. Likewise, part of the activities is a study that will determine the eggplants' beneficial equality for men, women, and young people of households in Bangladesh. It will also examine how gender norms and intrahousehold dynamics affect outcomes for women and the youth.

Read the Cornell Chronicle to learn more about the five-year project.

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