Australia’s wheat breeding capacity has been strengthened with InterGrain Pty Ltd entering into a collaboration agreement with agricultural company Monsanto.
Monsanto, a global giant in biotechnology, has bought a stake in InterGrain, which is one of Australia's leading cereal breeding companies with successful wheat and barley breeding programs.
However, Australian growers – through the Western Australian Government and the GRDC — will continue to maintain the majority stake in InterGrain.
Grains Research and Development Corporation chairman, Keith Perrett, said this collaboration would deliver significant increases in wheat performance for Australian growers, and would target improvements in areas such as yield performance, disease resistance, drought tolerance and improved end use qualities.
“As an InterGrain shareholder, the GRDC board supports the InterGrain Board decision for Monsanto to purchase a minority interest in InterGrain,” Mr Perrett said.
“It is a positive step forward for the Australian grains industry as it links Australian breeding with the global research and development effort.
“Australia must tap into global R&D to make the necessary advances in breeding to serve the Australian grains industry into the future.
“We are working to ensure growers have access to superior varieties that enable them to effectively compete in global grain markets.”
Monsanto is a global bioscience technology company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, and has locations in multiple locations around the world.
InterGrain was established in October 2007 by the State Government of Western Australia and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), when the wheat breeding activities of the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia were transformed from a government based operation into a commercial company structure.