A free mobile app ‘Btbegun’, developed by the Feed the Future (FtF) South Asia Eggplant Improvement Partnership, has been launched on Tuesday in the Google play store. An iPhone version of the app is also under development.
This new app is set to streamline information-sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond for farmers growing one of the most important crops for food security in Bangladesh.
The new app ‘Btbegun’ provides farmers, extension professionals, field officers, policymakers, seed suppliers and other stakeholders with the most current information about Bt eggplant — a genetically engineered variety resistant to a ravenous insect that destroys crops in the field before harvest.
Director General of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) Dr Md. Nazirul Islam inaugurated the app through zoom platform. Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Dr Md. Abdul Muyeed, Additional Director (Monitoring and Implementation) of DAE Shah Md. Akramul Haque, Project Director and researcher in Cornell University’s Department of Global Development Maricelis Acevedo, Country Coordinator of FtF Bangladesh Project Dr Md Jahangir Hossain, Chief Scientific Officer of the Biotechnology Division of BARI Dr Md. Abdullah Yusuf Akhond, Feed the Future project personnel, USAID Bangladesh representatives were participated in the app launching ceremony.
Speakers said at the app launching ceremony, the ‘Btbegun’ app puts the latest and most scientifically informed data at farmers’ fingertips to help them produce the safe, high-quality food the public needs. The app provides a wealth of information on Bt eggplant. Users can access information about the technology; tips for planting, growing, and harvesting Bt eggplant; and video tutorials. A FAQ section will dispel common myths surrounding Asia’s only genetically engineered food crop. In the recently concluded season, more than 30,000 farmers in Bangladesh were growing four varieties of Bt eggplant.