Dhaka, July 25 IANS | 5 months ago

Bangladesh is leading the world in commercial production after the country's government gave approval for this last year, according to a leading not-for-profit international organisation that shares the benefits of crop biotechnology with various stakeholders.

Bangladesh approved the commercial planting of four varieties of insect resistant Bt brinjal Oct 30, 2013, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

Following this, 20 farmers planted Bt brinjal seedlings on over two hectares of land in four brinjal growing regions of Gazipur, Jamalpur, Pabna/Ishurdi and Rangpur in the spring of 2014, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) said in its latest status report.

"Notably, Bt brinjal allowed farmers to raise healthy and vigorous brinjal crop, substantially cut down pesticide sprays to control fruit and shoot borer (FSB), considerably decreased cost of cultivation and significantly increased marketable yield," the report stated.

The report cited Bangladesh Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury as saying that her government supported the use of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh and endorsed the commercial approval of Bt brinjal as a step in the right direction.

"...We accord the highest priority to the safety and benefits to the society but shun any activity that intends to spread misinformation and misguide the public about Bt brinjal or other products that are evaluated by public sector research institutions," she said, while congratulating the ISAAA for highlighting Bangladesh's success in commercially producing Bt brinjal before the world.

(Posted on 25-07-2014)

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