Bt Brinjal Making Rounds in Bangladesh

The actual number of farmers growing Bt eggplant is likely to be larger as some farmers use seeds they saved from the previous season or share seeds with other farmers. Farmers have benefited from the technology by getting higher yields and savings due to the reduced use of pesticides to control the eggplant fruit and shoot borer. As with any new technology, stewardship is of vital importance, and this is true for Bt eggplant. While stewardship begins with quality seed, other practices around insect resistance management are equally vital for the long-term sustainability of Bt eggplant technology in Bangladesh.

One way to delay the development of resistance in the insect population is by planting a refuge of non-Bt eggplant around the Bt field to give the insects an alternative food source. Although the technology is available, the second generation of Bt eggplant carrying a two-Bt gene product is not currently under development for Bangladesh. Bangladesh needs to takes some strategic steps to start developing second-generation Bt eggplant varieties.

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