Volume 3 - 2018
Biotechnology Potato Partnership
Science Based Answers to Sustaining Farmers, Solving Hunger and Securing Our Planet
The Biotechnology Potato Partnership is bringing Late Blight resistant potato varieties to Bangladesh and Indonesia with the goals of :
  • Reducing malnutrition and improving health
  • Reducing the use of harmful pesticides
  • Improving social and economic stranding of women
  • Reducing pre and post harvest losses
  • Catalyzing economic growth
"Tomorrow's Food: How GMO's Change Global Farming" - Austrian Produced Documentary Discusses the Technology, Consumer Perceptions and Economic Impact of GMO Technology on Our World.
By Janet Fierro
The majority of the Austrian population, along with most of the European community, has traditionally held fast to their anti-GMO beliefs. This TV report delves into the scientific, economic and political aspects of GM technology and investigates a common claim by anti-biotech activists that the GM industry harms the environment and exploits humans. 

The short film highlights the success of the BT Brinjal (eggplant) crop in Bangladesh. During their travels in Bangladesh, the team meets with small-holder farmers who are now growing the genetically modified BT Brinjal and learn how the introduction of this crop has dramatically affected their lives and their community for the better.
Austrian TV Journalist Timo Kuntzle poses with Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership Bangladesh Communications Coordinator, Arif Hossain and local BT Brinjal farmer during filming of the documentary "Tomorrow's Food".
BT Brinjal has dramatically reduced the need for chemical spraying to combat the difficult to manage fruit and shoot borer, whose larvae bore into the stem and fruit of the eggplant. Farmers can experience up to 80% crop loss when this insect attacks their crops. Until Bt brinjal, frequent spraying was the only way to protect against the pest. In developing genetically modified brinjal, researchers inserted a gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringisensis (Bt). The fruit and shoot borer larva stop feeding once they detect the the Bt protein in the plant. Bt has commonly been used in the organic industry to control pests. Years of biosafety trials have proven the protein as safe for human consumption.

The Bangladeshi people have embraced the Bt brinjal as it is usually the first to sell out at market and often garners higher prices. Project country coordinator Jahangir Hossain noted, “farmers growing Bt brinjal in Bangladesh are seeing three times the production of other brinjal varieties, at half the production cost, and are getting better prices at the market.”

The film, produced in German, has English subtitles and can be viewed here on   You Tube. 

GMO Fact Check
Statement: GMO's lead to higher pesticide use
Fact: According to ISAAA, Since 1996, farmers planting biotech crops have reduced pesticide inputs in their fields by 8.1% or over 619 million kg which led to an overall reduction in the environmental footprint of biotech crops by 18.6%. Environmental footprint is a measure of the effect or impact a product, process, operation, an individual or corporation places on the environment, in this case, measuring the environmental effects of pesticides. Check outage full report here .
In Your Kitchen...

Barbecue Potato Kebabs

·       2 pounds unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes 
·       6 wooden skewers
·       3 tablespoons Barbecue Seasoning
·       2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.     Clean potatoes, cut into 1 1/2'' inch cubes. Thread potatoes onto skewers.
2.     Microwave kebabs for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Brush with oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
3.     Grill over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Turn kebabs occasionally during grilling.
Tissue Culture Lab Renovations Complete!
By Janet Fierro
The Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership is excited that upgrades to Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute's (BARI) Tissue Culture Research Center (TCRC) Tissue Culture Lab have been completed. The upgrades will make it easier for researchers to conduct the necessary work on the 3R gene late blight resistant potato.
Potato Fun Fact....
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest potato grown was 7 pounds 1 ounce by J. East (1953) and J. Busby (1982) of Great Britain.

That's one big spud!!