Monsanto is moving into the sugarcane seed business.
The company has announced that “in the face of long-term changes driving greater global demand for food and biofuel sources” they are investing in sugarcane “to diversify its existing core crop portfolio and to leverage its experience in bringing innovations to the agricultural marketplace through breeding and biotechnology.”
Monsanto will be acquiring Aly Participacoes Ltda., which operates the sugarcane breeding and technology companies, CanaVialis S.A. and Alellyx S.A., both of which are based in Brazil.
Carl Casale, executive vice president of global strategy and operations for Monsanto, says this will allow them to combine breeding expertise. “Our goal with this approach is to increase yields in sugarcane while reducing the amount of resources needed for this crop’s cultivation, just as we’re doing now for corn, soybeans and cotton,” Casale said. “We view this as a significant opportunity over the longer term to supplement our ongoing commitment to corn as an ethanol feedstock, diversify our crop technology portfolio and provide innovations to such a vital crop as sugarcane.”
Casale says they hope to bring new trait technologies for sugarcane to market by 2016.