Bt eggplant resistant to pests to hit market
Believe it or not, the eggplant, known in Filipino as talong, is now the most favorite vegetable of Filipinos.Recent findings that it is nutritious also pushed many Filipinos to splurge on the cheap vegetable, making it the No. 1 veggie in the country today.
But do you know that production of eggplant has been severely hampered by pests known as the fruit and shoot borer?
Farmers have long been using pesticides to kill the pesky fruit and shoot borer and many farmers in Bukidnon and South Cotabato have resorted to spraying eggplants with pesticides, which invariably end up poisoning the environment and humans as well.
Scientists have developed a response to this problem, which is common among Mindanao vegetable growers.Now, these savants say that a breed of eggplant can resist the fruit and shoot borer and the government is now being geared up for initial field-testing in Bay, Laguna.
Confident that the National Biosafety Committee of the Philippines (NCBP) will approve its commercial release in due time, Dr. Josefina Narciso of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), principal investigator of the project, said they expect to release the Philippine-tested fruit and shoot borer resistant eggplant (FSBR) in the market next year.
The eggplant, considered the next staple food in the archipelago, next to rice, is generally planted in small plantations in the low-elevation areas of Mindanao, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos region, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and Central and Western Visayas.At the very least, 20,000 hectares are devoted to the production of eggplants.
This land area generates 179,000 metric tons in annual yield of the crop that provides the much-needed potassium and phosphorous in the Filipinos' diet.Sadly, 25 percent of eggplant production cost goes to chemical pesticides, making the farmers and the Philippines economy lose more than 50 percent of its investments.
Another setback in the extensive use of chemicals as pesticides is that the pests, in time gets immune to the pesticides, making the farmers use more chemicals, all of which threaten to turn the eggplant into a chemical cocktail.
In December 20, 2005, the Bureau of Plant Industries (BPI) through the Plant Quarantine Services (PQS), approved the importation of FSBR eggplant breeding materials from India.
AGRI-INFO/MAY 5, 2006
TITLE: PINOY SCIENTISTS DEVELOPED PESTS-RESISTANT EGGPLANT
ALAM BA NINYO NA NAGAWANG MAISAKATUPARAN NG MGA PILIPINONG SIYENTISTA ANG ISANG URI NG TALONG NA MAY KAKAYANANG LABANAN ANG PAG-ATAKE NG MGA PESTE?
GINAWA ITO NG MGA AGRI-EXPERT SA ATING BANSA DAHIL SA KATOTOHANAN NA ANG TALONG AY ITINUTURING NA PINAKA-PABORITONG GULAY NG MGA PINOY.
BATAY SA MGA PAG-AARAL NA GINAWA NG MGA EKSPERTO, ANG TALONG AY NUMERO UNONG GULAY SA BUONG PILIPINAS.
DAHIL DITO, LALU PANG PINAG-IBAYO NG MGA EKSPERTO ANG PANANALIKSIK PARA MATIYAK NA PROTEKTADO ANG GULAY NA ITO LABAN SA ATAKE NG MGA PESTE TULAD NG FRUIT AT SHOOT BORER.
ITO ANG DAHILAN KUNG BAKIT NAPILITAN ANG MGA MAGSASAKA SA LALAWIGAN NG BUKIDNON AT SOUTH COTABATO NA GUMAMIT NG KEMIKAL PARA MAPUKSA ANG PESTE NA NAGDULOT NAMAN NG MASAMANG EPEKTO SA KAPILIGIRAN DAHIL NAGSISILBING LASON SA KALIKASAN ANG MGA GINAGAMIT NA PESTISIDYO.
SUMASAILALIM NA SA INISYAL NA FIELD TESTING SA BAY, LAGUNA ANG BAGONG TUKLAS NA VARIETY NG TALONG AT UMAASA NAMAN SI DR. JOSEFINA NARCISO NG INSTITUTE OF PLANT BREEDING NA MAAARI NANG GAMITIN SA PANG-KOMERSIYAL ANG EGGPLANT VARIETY NA ITO SA SUSUNOD NA TAON.
ANG TALONG AY KARANIWANG NANG ITINATANIM SA MGA SAKAHAN NG MINDANAO, CAGAYAN VALLEY, ILOCOS REGION, CENTRAL LUZON, SOUTHERN TAGALOG MAGING SA CENTRAL AT WESTERN VISAYAS.