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.