THE Philippines is losing as much as PHP33.85 billion (US$634 million) due to delay in commercialising the insect resistant Bt eggplant, according to Dr Cesar Quicoy, an economist from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

Quicoy studied the cost of delaying the commercialisation of Bt eggplant in the country in three different adoption rate scenarios: 15%, 30%, and 50% of the total eggplant production.

At a 50-percent adoption rate, eggplant producers could have earned at least P33.852 in potential revenue in the first year of Bt eggplant commercialisation.

By the 10th year of adop­tion, Filipino farmers could have gained a total of P374.889 bil­lion. The crop, developed by the Institute of Plant Breeding UPLB, could double the net income of farmers.

Quicoy presented the results of his study during The Econom­ics of Biotech Crops: A Symposium to Promote Economic and Finan­cial Literacy symposium held on July 17 at the SEARCA Umali Auditorium, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.