Bt brinjal, a genetically modified eggplant variety, was developed to fight fruit and shoot borer that used to cause colossal crop loss in Bangladesh’s brinjal fields but not anymore.
Dr. Md Jahangir Hossain, who coordinates biotech brinjal and late blight-resistant potato project in Bangladesh, told this correspondent that in 2020-21 crop year as many as 65,000 farmers in Bangladesh are growing Bt brinjal in 12,500 acres of land.
Earlier, five years after introducing the country’s first genetically modified crop – Bt brinjal – the government undertook an impact assessment study in 2018. It stated that the farmers got benefitted financially by cultivating Bt brinjal and they are now less prone to health hazards caused by pesticide sprays.
The study outcome found that the farmers who cultivated the Bt brinjal gained by 55 percent higher income comparing to their peers growing the non-Bt brinjal.
The genetically modified Bt brinjal has been developed by inserting a crystal protein gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the genome of various brinjal cultivars thereby, protecting the crop from the infestation of Fruit and Shoot Borer, the deadliest pest for brinjal.