Farmer cuts pesticide use with GMO brinjal

By Md. Arif Hossain

August 22, 2017

Bangladeshi farmer Milon Mia is in his second year of cultivating Bt brinjal, an eggplant genetically engineered to resist a devastating insect pest. He harvested about 7,055 pounds of Bt brinjal and made a profit of BDT 45,000 (US$556). When asked to comment about the crop, he said:

“I will not grow conventional variety brinjal even if I get free seed from the local stores, because you have to spray pesticide twice a week for those brinjal varieties. I hire laborers for spraying pesticides as they are harmful for health and affect a grower’s health. On top of that pesticides are expensive. Bt brinjal does not require pesticides — only once or twice in a season for white fly and spider attack. The rest of the season you will remain tension free [due to] its pest resistant quality. I have completed this season’s harvesting and prepared the plot for tomato. I will certainly grow Bt brinjal in the coming winter and hope to extend the land size [under cultivation].”

Md. Arif Hossain is a 2015 Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellow.