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February / March 2024

Restructure of biosecurity division

SA Fruit Journal: February / March 2024

Biosecurity is at the core of the Citrus Research International mission to maximise the long-term global competitiveness of citrus growers in Southern African. By Paul Fourie, Wayne Kirkman, Elma Carstens and Vaughan Hattingh

In the past, biosecurity-related issues were addressed within the research portfolios of Integrated Pest Management and Disease Management, and the Citrus Improvement Scheme (CIS). With the increasing threat of exotic pest and disease incursions into Southern Africa, most notably Huanglongbing (HLB, or Asian Citrus Greening) and its vector the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a Biosecurity division was established within CRI, with Dr Hennie le Roux (Fig. 1) ably managing biosecurity from April 2015, until his untimely death in October 2016.

Dr Solomon Gebeyehu (Fig. 2) managed the Biosecurity division from January 2018 until September 2023. Under Gebeyehu’s leadership, a strong biosecurity structure and foundation for operations was established. He was supported by Wayne Kirkman as Biosecurity Operations Coordinator and Dr Elma Carstens as Phytosanitary and Bio-security Specialist (Fig. 3).
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