It is a tough road ahead for the newly appointed director-general of the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Mooketsa Ramasodi. This, according to agricultural minister Thoko Didiza who announced Ramasodi’s promotion from acting director-general moments ago.
The department has been without a director-general since October 2020 when Mdu Shabane’s contract was not renewed.
Ramasodi’s experience in the agricultural sector spans more than a decade
He has been the deputy director-general for agricultural production, health and food safety and natural resource management, and he has served in various roles in the agricultural sector.
According to Didiza, Ramasodi resumes his work in the department at a crucial time. “As in 2021, the outlook for agriculture is positive and the sector is expected to show strong growth figures and to create employment despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Ramasodi also resumes his role at a time when the country is grappling with the land question, Didiza added, and said that that the department is in the process of implementing various policies, such as the beneficiary selection, land allocation policy and land donations policy, which aim to bring fairness and effectiveness in land reform.
In her statement the minister assured Ramasodi of her full support and backing. She called on department staff, the agricultural sector, stakeholders and all South Africans to give him the support he may need to carry out his duties.
Ramasodi will officially resume his duties on 1 December 2021. In the meantime, he will continue in his acting capacity.
The DG oversees a variety of key functions, which include the land reform process (land ownership and sustainable development, implementation of land reform policies and programmes, deeds and other documents) and the coordination of activities of the economic cluster.
According to Christo van der Rheede, executive director of Agri SA, Ramasodi has been in the industry for a very long time and is familiar with the various challenges and opportunities experienced by farmers, farmworkers as well as the agro-value chain.
“He has a long track record in the department, from the management and implementation of biosecurity risk plans and the management and implementation of the biosecurity and food safety regulatory framework at ports of entry.”
Agri SA welcomes the appointment.
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