Support Bt Eggplant (EE-1) Commercial Propagation in the Philippines!

Support Bt Eggplant (EE-1) Commercial Propagation in the Philippines!

132 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to
Bureau of Plant Industry

Why this petition matters

Started by Bt Eggplant PH

Eggplant is one of the world’s most important vegetables and a staple in some South and Southeast Asian countries. In the Philippines, eggplant or talong is the leading vegetable crop in terms of volume (249,900 metric tons) and area of production (21,800 hectares) based on the 2020 Philippine Statistics Authority report. Eggplant farming also offers huge income potential for resource-poor farmers in many provinces in the country.

Every year, eggplant production in the Philippines suffers huge losses of up to 73% due to its most devastating insect pest, the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB).

To prevent severe losses due to EFSB infestation and damage, farmers spray their eggplant crops with cocktails of chemical insecticides at least 4 times a week, or up to 80 times per cropping season. According to studies, eggplant farmers spend 20-40% of the total production cost for chemical insecticides alone. This practice is costly, unsustainable, and harmful to farmers and their communities, consumers, and the environment.

To help farmers manage EFSB and to address insecticide misuse and overuse, researchers from the Institute of Plant Breeding at the College of Agriculture and Food Science in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-CAFS-UPLB) used modern biotechnology to develop an eggplant variety resistant the feeding damage of EFSB.

Bt eggplant, or Bt talong (EE-1), is an insect-resistant eggplant variety which contains a natural protein from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that makes it resistant to EFSB. The Bt protein in Bt eggplant only affects EFSB and is proven safe for humans, farm animals, and non-target insects.

Decades of R&D and biosafety assessments have demonstrated the viability of locally adapted Bt eggplants in the Philippines, and their necessity in order curtail the extreme misuse and overuse of synthetic insecticides. With the rising costs of farm inputs, the availability of the Bt eggplants in the market will also give farmers a sensible choice to cut back on their farm expenses and ultimately raise their net incomes.

Now on its final regulatory stage under the Joint Department Circular Series of 2021, the Bt Eggplant Project Team enjoins the public to support the commercial release and propagation of Bt Eggplant (EE-1) varieties in the Philippines.

Show your support by signing this petition!

132 have signed. Let’s get to 200!