Monsanto have a renewed focus on the melon industry and specifically seedless watermelon, investing in an independent breeding program which is distinct from existing suppliers in the Australian market.
This program is important to growers because they no longer have to rely on the same genetic background, meaning they can now access a broader range of quality and disease tolerance characteristics.
‘Kalahari’, a seedless watermelon variety developed by Monsanto for the Australian market is the newest edition to the Seminis melon portfolio.
“We have increased our investment in seedless watermelons across the world, and combined with our local team who are focused directly on Australia’s unique market requirements, we intend to deliver new standards in varietal performance to Australian melon growers” commented head of Monsanto’s Australian and New Zealand operations, Mr Peter O’Keeffe.
Kalahari has been bred solely from Monsanto germplasm, setting it apart from the two leading rival seedless watermelons which share the same genetics. Kalahari is the only seedless watermelon with a rating for Fusarium resistance, which has an Intermediate Resistance (IR) rating to one of the strains of Fusarium found in Australia.
Monsanto have not historically been a strong player in the watermelon market however the feedback from growers and marketers regarding the Seminis variety Kalahari has been overwhelmingly positive. Kalahari produces high quality fruit with consistent taste, texture and density. “Kalahari has sparked significant grower interest, performing "as well as or better then each of the alternative watermelons following three years of extensive pre-commercial trials in the major melon growing regions of Australia” said O’Keeffe."
The Kalahari variety will be marketed under Monsanto’s Seminis brand.
Keryn Mclean, Corporate Affairs Ph: 03 9522 7165 Mob: 0409 536 446
Michael Worthington, CEO, PMA A-NZ Mob 0409 181 034
Steve Ogden-Barnes, Unit Chair for Practicum and Internships Deakin Graduate School of Business, Deakin University Ph: 03 9244 5021
About Monsanto Company: Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com