Bt eggplant for Bangladesh and the Philippines


2015 to 2018


Eggplant is a common vegetable grown throughout Asia by resource-poor farmers. Eggplant is attacked by a caterpillar known as the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) and growers typically spray every 2-3 days to control it, usually with little success but with considerable health and environmental harm. Using an engineered plant that expresses a common bacterial protein used by organic growers, these farmers now have a solution that completely eliminates the need to spray for EFSB. We are working with farmers in Bangladesh and the Philippines to use these EFSB-resistant plants as part of an overall integrated pest management (IPM) program.


The issue addressed is the economic losses and the risks to human health and the environment from the current pesticide-intensive strategy to control an insect of eggplant in Asia.


Using eggplants that are resistant to the major insect pest in Asia is allowing farmers to minimize their pesticide sprays. Rather than spraying >100 times during the season, growers are spraying only a few times to control secondary pests. Farmers are obtaining economic benefits as well as reducing risks to human health and the environment.


In 2017 there will be >5,000 farmers in Bangladesh who will be using these insect-resistant (Bt) plants. This will greatly decrease pesticide use and increase their profit. One study estimates the benefit to farmers will be >$1800 per hectare.

Submitted by: 

  • Shelton, Anthony M

Researchers involved: 

  • Shelton, Anthony M

International focus: 

  • Bangladesh
  • Philippines