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Professor Rob Melis
Pro-Seed -Ukulinga research farm

Rob Melis initiated the first dry bean breeding programme for small scale farmers in KZN from 1981 to 1990. The programme was sponsored by the De Beers Chairmans’ Fund. The objective was to develop disease-resistant dry bean cultivars. This led to Melis establishing Pro-Seed in 1990, which is a private plant breeding business at Ukulinga research farm. For three decades Melis has released over 27 registered cultivars of dry bean, tomato and pepper. He is also an Associate Professor in the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) and plays an active role in supervising the training of PhD students conducting research on the breeding improvement of cassava, sweet potato and several legume crops.