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Bangladesh Approves Cultivation of Genetically Modified Eggplant


Bangladesh has approved commercial cultivation of genetically modified eggplant resistant to insect damage, designed noteworthy development after seven years of research. With this approval Bangladesh becomes the 29th country in the world to commercially cultivate any genetically modified crop.

Director General of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute Rafiqul Islam Mondal told the reporters that the environment ministry had approved cultivation of four varieties of  Bt bringal (eggplant).

Mr. Mondal said, "we have taken the Bt gene technology  from India's Mahyco company but all varieties have been developed by our institute" He also added that cultivation will be done under strong monitoring, on a limited scale and the four varieties will be specific to different regions.

The main planting season for eggplant in Bangladesh is December- January though it is also grown in the highlands over June and July.

Genetic modification of eggplant by introducing the 'bacillus th uringiensis' gene will help tackle one of the most damaging pest for the crop which will enable the farmers to get double marketable yields.

"We are doing trials of five more varieties of Bt bringal and plan to apply for permission for commercial cultivation next year, said Mr. Mondal. Bangladesh is also researching on genetically modified potatoes to tackle the serious disease called "late blight of potato" which will take three years to trials.

However, genetic modification of crops is one of the most controversial and polarizing issues in global agriculture. This modification is contested by environment activists on concern over food safety even as scientists research on transgenic crops to tackle drought, salinity and pest related problem in agriculture.


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