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Crop Biotech Update

University of Southern Mindanao Welcomes Development in Bt Eggplant Field Trial

April 13, 2012

The University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in the Philippines are hopeful for the new round of field trial for hybrid and open pollinated variety of the fruit and shoot borer resistant Bt eggplant. USM President Jesus Antonio Derije reiterated during a collaborator's meeting with the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation Inc. (UPLBFI), and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) last March 26, 2012 that USM will support biotechnology research and the conduct of multi-location field trial of Bt eggplant in the university campus in North Cotabato following the government's regulatory guidelines. The project is part of the university's mandate to conduct education, research, extension, and resource generation.

Dr. Emma Sales, Chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee of USM, said that the trial should be conducted to obtain scientific facts on the efficacy and benefits of Bt eggplant. Mr. Edwin Paraluman, a biotech corn farmer from General Santos City, estimated that profit from a hectare of eggplant farm is equivalent to two hectares of corn. "If profit increased with Bt corn, what more with Bt eggplant?" he said.

Bt eggplant technology, which was projected by studies to considerably reduce chemical insecticide inputs, will be a significant help and benefit to farmers, consumers, and the environment.

For more information about the development of Bt eggplant in the Philippines, visit http://www.bic.searca.org or e-mail bic@agri.searca.org