Feed the Future has a mission to build a more prosperous, stable and secure world. Through the Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership based at Cornell University, we advance that mission by responding to the needs of farmers and collaborating with local partners to develop and deliver improved varieties of Bt eggplant. This proven biotechnology supports farmer prosperity and safeguards the health of our environment.

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eggplant flowering bud

Safeguarding farmer health

Farmers growing traditional eggplant in Bangladesh must engage in intensive insecticide spraying multiple times each week, often without any protective equipment, in order to protect their fields from the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB). A report by the International Food Policy and Research Institute demonstrated decreased occurrences of pesticide-related symptoms and the subsequent need to seek medical care.

Protecting the environment

Growing Bt eggplant allows farmers to thwart insect pests with far less use of harmful chemicals. Studies in Bangladesh have shown that farmer growing Bt eggplant use 61% less insecticide than conventional eggplant farmers. Reduced pesticide use means less runoff into the environment while still keeping crops safe.

Increasing economic opportunities

Farmers growing Bt eggplant have been shown to reap higher rewards in the marketplace. In Bangladesh, Bt eggplant varieties have a 19.6% higher average yield and produce 21.7% higher revenue for farmers. These farmers have received a six-fold higher return per hectare, providing essential extra income to support families throughout South Asia.

BUILDING RESILIENCE

Better Health For Farmers

Ansar Ali earned just 11,000 taka – about $130 U.S. dollars – growing traditional eggplant in Bangladesh. After planting Bt eggplant, he more than doubled that amount. It’s a life-changing improvement for a subsistence farmer like Ali.

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WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT BT EGGPLANT

Farmers growing Bt brinjal in Bangladesh are seeing three times the production of other brinjal varieties, at half the production cost, and are getting better prices at the market.

Jahangir Hossain, the country coordinator for the project in Bangladesh

I sprayed pesticides several times in a week (growing traditional eggplant). I got sick many times during the spray.

Alhaz Uddin, a farmer in the Tangail district of Bangladesh

Bt Eggplant by the numbers

A snapshot of our innovation ecosystem.

6

Increase in farmers’ net income when growing Bt eggplant
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19

Higher fruit yield
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60,000

Farmers growing Bt eggplant in Bangladesh
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