Bt eggplant to help farmers save millions for pesticide-free use
Biotechnology product (Bt) eggplant will bring cost savings of P9.33 million every year from its nearly pesticide-free use, benefitting not only the health of consumers but especially of farmers.
The estimate was made in the “Health and Environmental Impacts of Bt Eggplant” by Sergio Francisco.
It was based on the perception of 100 eggplant farmers from Batangas, Pangasinan, Quezon, and Nueva Ecija.
“Eggplant farmers are generally aware of the adverse effects of pesticides to human and the environment,” the statement said.
As of now, risks of using pesticides can have an impact on human, animals, birds, and beneficial insects.
“Almost half of the 100 farmers, 46 or percent, admitted to have suffered sickness after pesticide spraying. Among their complaints were dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, loose bowel movement, and itchiness,” the study said.
As of now, farmers growing Bt eggplant only use only 6.22 liters of pesticides compared to 11.98 liters per hectare for non-Bt eggplant
Given the start of growing Bt eggplant, benefit to human health from health cost savings is equivalent to P2.49 million yearly as risk from illnesses is avoided.
For farm animals, projected benefit per year is at P2.12 million while for beneficial insects, environmental benefit is valued at P2.45 million yearly and for avian species, P2.27 million – as these are saved from death, thereby contributing to biodiversity enhancement ( such as bees that prop pollination and growth of plants).