22 August, 2019
Sugar Research Australia (SRA) has announced that Dr Frikkie Botha is leaving their organisation.
Dr Botha has been with SRA since 2009 and has held numerous positions during that time, including Variety Improvement Program Manager, Executive Manager for Technology, and Executive Manager for Strategic Initiatives. Prior to these positions, Dr Botha was the Executive Director of the Sugar Research and Development Corporation, a role that he moved to Australia to begin in January 2008.
Dr Botha also has a distinguished international career, including roles as CEO of the South African Sugar Association, Honorary Professor of Biotechnology and Genetics at the University of Stellenbosch, Professor of Plant Biotechnology at the University of Natal, along with many other positions. He is also an Honorary Professor of Biotechnology and Genetics at the University of Queensland.
SRA CEO Mr Neil Fisher said that Dr Botha has played a crucial role in major research programs including variety development, GM cane, and solving and understanding yellow canopy syndrome.
“These research programs have come with complex scientific and industry challenges, as well their share of setbacks, but Dr Botha approached the job with enthusiasm and diligence,” Mr Fisher said.
“He is particularly proud of the work of the herbicide-tolerant cane project team’s work, which met every scientific milestone set by our joint partners DuPont, and yet we were not able to take this technology to industry due to factors outside of our control.
“He has provided a key leadership and mentoring role at SRA and has established a strong rapport with industry through his communication skills and pragmatic understanding of the needs of our investors.
“Dr Botha has made a tremendous contribution to the Australian (and international) sugarcane industry and made a deep and meaningful impact.”
His last day with SRA will be Friday 8 November.