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Crop Biotech Update

ICAR-NCAP Estimates US$ Half a Billion Economic Gains of Bt Brinjal

February 4, 2011

The National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP) of the the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute has presented an exhaustive socio-economic impact assessment of Bt brinjal in its Policy Brief "Economic Benefits of Bt Brinjal-An Ex-Ante Assessment". The Policy Brief covers factors such as yield gain, reduction in insecticide use, benefits to farmers and consumers, and policy implications of adopting Bt brinjal hybrids.

The brief estimates economic gains from the Bt brinjal hybrids annually to be Rupee 577 crore (US$126 million) assuming adoption rate of 15%, Rupee 1167 crore (US$255 million) at 30% adoption rate and Rupee 2387 crore (US$ half a billion) with 60% adoption rate in India. It is a significant benefit in absolute terms for a vegetable with an aggregate area-coverage much smaller than that of any major food or fibre crop.

The analysis revealed that use of Bt brinjal hybrids could result in a significant reduction in insecticide use with overall quantity of insecticides used against FSB reduced by 77.2%. This amounted to 41.8% reduction in the total insecticide-use in brinjal. The reduction in insecticide-use to control FSB would also generate large savings in the range of Rupee 47 crore to Rupee 187 crore. The yield gain computed was 37.3% over non-Bt brinjal hybrids and 54.9% over popular brinjal hybrids.

The study also revealed that adoption of Bt brinjal hybrids would benefit consumers as the prices of brinjal would be reduced by 3% to 15% and thereby increase its consumption. A considerable increase in total production of brinjal from the existing area would amount to an additional production of 30 to 119 thousand tonnes that would improve the food and nutritional security of low-income consumers. In essence, Bt brinjal offers enormous welfare potentials including benefits to brinjal farmers with increased income, reduced insecticide use, increased production, yield gain, higher food and nutritional security of consumers and availability of quality brinjal free from FSB infestation.

Obtain a copy of NCAP policy Brief 34 on Bt brinjal from http://www.ncap.res.in/ For more information about biotech development in India contact: b.choudhary@cgiar.org and k.gaur@cgiar.org.