Filipino farmers can benefit from GM eggplant

EggplantEggplant is the most widely planted vegetable in the Philippines, making up nearly one-third of vegetables harvested. (Image source: Jim/Flickr)GM eggplants can help farmers in the Philippines earn more, according to a study

The study published in the book titled International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications and the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture reported that moths are considered the most damaging pest attacking eggplants in Southeast and South Asia. Its larvae feed inside the eggplant making the fruit unmarketable and unfit for human consumption.

Cesar Quicoy, professor at University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Economics and Management, said, “Based on my study, there are environmental gains in planting GM eggplant such as less pesticide use. Worms damage more than 60 per cent of eggplants, resulting in farmers spraying pesticides up to 80 times per season.”

The majority of eggplant farmers, the study added, are willing to adopt the GM eggplant even at a higher price as they understand this could result in significant savings on pesticides and see the potential for developing a variety of crops for the market.

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