Bangladesh is the first South Asian country to approve commercial cultivation of a genetically modified food crop: brinjal (eggplant). Although advancements in agricultural biotechnology like Bt brinjal could accelerate food production to meet the demand of Bangladesh’s growing population, farmers’ and consumers’ food safety remains a top priority.
To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture requested IFPRI’s Policy Research and Strategy Support Program (PRSSP) to design an experimental study to assess the impact of growing Bt brinjal on (1) brinjal yields, (2) pesticide use, and (3) farmers’ health outcomes. The study will be implemented jointly by the Ministry’s Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), and the Agricultural Policy Support Unit (APSU), with funding from the Government of Bangladesh and USAID.
From July 29—August 4, IFPRI and local survey firm Data Analysis and Technical Assistance (DATA) conducted a 5-day training for 40 survey enumerators for the upcoming Bt brinjal household census. In early August, the village farmers’ questionnaire census will be launched in 4 districts of northwest Bangladesh (Bogra, Gaibandha, Naogaon, and Rangpur), which will select farmers who will grow conventional brinjal and those who are willing to grow Bt brinjal.
To learn more about the Bt brinjal impact evaluation, please contact Principal Investigator Dr. Akhter Ahmed, Country Representative for Bangladesh.
Photo credit: Md. Aminul Islam Khandaker, IFPRI/PRSSP