The Feed the Future South Asia Eggplant Improvement Partnership (FTFB) in collaboration with Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and Sathguru Management Consultants organized a day-long meeting titled “Bt Brinjal Project Progress Review Meeting” at the Six Seasons Hotel, Dhaka on September 13, 2018.
FTFBP project management and officials of BARI, USAID-Misson, Department of Agricultural Extension and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation attended the meeting and shared their knowledge and experience of the successful adoption of Bt brinjal during the last three years. Participants discussed strategies for sustainable adoption of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh. They also discussed the status of Bt brinjal in the Philippines and emphasized the major efforts for commercialization and adoption of the expected varieties.
Bt brinjal, Bangladesh’s first genetically engineered food crop, released earlier in 2013, has been successful with an increased adoption to about 33000 farmers in the 2017-2018 season. Studies have shown that farmers received a 6-fold increase in the net returns with no harmful effects of Bt brinjal varieties on non-target organism, allowing the growers to reduce the use of insecticide by 61-98%. BARI has applied for the release of three additional high yielding Bt brinjal varieties suitable to a wider geographic area. The institute has adopted more rigorous stewardship practices to sustain the success of Bt brinjal in the future.
The Feed the Future Biotechnology Partnership consortium offers an integrated, demand-driven approach to boost food security and economic growth by introducing and stewarding agricultural biotechnology to food cropping systems in Bangladesh and the Philippines. USAID provided a three-year (2015 – 2018) award under the Feed the Future Biotechnology Partnership to facilitate the late-stage development, deregulation, commercialization and dissemination of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh and Philippines.