Today I join the rest of the agriculture sector in mourning the passing of the academic and thought leader on agriculture Professor Mohammad Karaan.
His death is a massive loss for the academic and agricultural community in South Africa.
As academic and Dean of the Faculty AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University Professor Karaan leaves an indelible mark on the agricultural landscape.
We remember Professor Karaan for his contribution to the National Planning Commission and the Land Reform Advisory Panel.
Professor Karaan played a crucial role in writing a chapter in the National Development Plan - Vision 2030 on shaping an integrated and inclusive rural economy for South Africa.
He was a bridge-builder between the government and the agriculture sector and brought people together. He was a great facilitator of dialogue and reason in the political economy of South Africa. He understood the impact of policy uncertainty on the agricultural sector and offered pragmatic solutions. Agriculture was his passion and his legacy will continue to inspire us.
He also contributed to developing the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's approach to agri-processing, the design of halaal products, and the training required for farmers to access the halaal markets.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the late Professor Mohammad Karaan.
May his soul rest in peace.