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USaid programme to bring genetically engineered aubergine to Bangladesh and the Philippines

Thu 27/01/2022 by Richard Wilkinson
Sarah Evanega, Maricelis Acevedo and Hale Ann Tufan. Copyright University of Cornell.
From left to right, Sarah Evanega, Maricelis Acevedo and Hale Ann Tufan. Sarah Evanega is the director of the Alliance for Science, professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and adjunct faculty member at Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science. Maricelis Acevedo is working as research professor of global development of Cornell University and project director. She serves also as co-principal investigator with Sarah Evanega. As part of the project, Hale Ann Tufan, research professor of global development, will study if biotechnology products equitably benefit women, men, and young people within households that adopt them in Bangladesh.

A new USaid project will introduce new genetically engineered aubergine varieties to Bangladesh and the Philippines. The Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership will be led by Cornell University, New York and funded by a five-year, US$10m grant provided by USaid’s Feed the Future programme.

The new varieties are pest-resistant, can reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides and will be introduced with the aim of enhancing food and nutritional security and protecting the health of growers and the environment.

Scientists in Bangladesh and the Philippines will also be empowered to develop new varieties of eggplant while engaging with policymakers on clear regulatory pathways for their release.

Research professor of global development of Cornell University and project director Maricelis Acevedo said one of the main goals was to help increase food security in Bangladesh and the Philippines. “Crop pests and pathogens are a threat to food security and the environmental sustainability of food systems globally,” said Acevedo.

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