Brazil: Monsanto Buys World’s Largest Sugarcane Breeding Firm in Brazil

US-based Monsanto completed in early December the acquisition of Aly Participações Ltda., a Brazilian firms that controls CanaVialis S.A., the world’s largest private sugarcane breeding . The operation is worth some USD 290 million.
CanaVialis is reported as developing and commercializing proprietary germplasm, or a plant’s genetic raw material, which is expected to significantly improve yields to sugar cane in comparison to the publicly available cane varieties. A sister company, also acquired by Monsanto, Alellyx iS.A., is a genomics company involved in developing biotechnology for sugar cane. Both are located in Brazil, the world’s largest producer of sugar cane, the largest exporter of sugar, and the world’s second-largest producer of ethanol after the United States.
Monsanto said that the acquisition was driven by long-term changes driving greater global demand for food and “biofuel” sources. “Our goal, said a spokesperson for Monsanto, 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”
Sector-related sources said that Monsanto has a licensing and trait-collaboration agreement with CanaVialis and Alellyx since 2007 to develop and commercialize Roundup Ready and Bt insect-protected technologies for sugar cane growers in Brazil.

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