New department to ensure women, youth become role-players in agriculture

A brand-new Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development has officially begun its operations from April 2021.

This is in line with the Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul’s pronouncement in 2019, that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development be merged with the Department of Environment & Nature Conservation, to form a new Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development.

MEC Manopole said the establishment of the new Department is influenced by the need to rationalize Provincial Departments for better alignment and coordination for improved service delivery.

“I am aware that there have been a number of concerns from some of our employees, since the Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul announced the merger of these two departments two years ago. As the Premier has always undertaken during his previous State of the Province Addresses, that no one would lose their jobs, and that all staff will retain their existing condition of service.

“I also want to reiterate that, I will continue to engage in a seamless and consultative process with employees, who will be placed and marched in various units in the new Department,” said MEC Manopole.

MEC Manopole indicated that the mandate of the new Department, among the many, is to ensure that rural communities, women and the youth become important role players in the Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development sector.

She further indicated that, through research and extension services, farmers will be assisted to adopt sustainable methods of production that will enhance productivity and increase the contribution of the sector to the regional GDP.

Households will be encouraged and supported to produce their own food as part of the food insecurity mitigation plan.

“In addition, the new Department will provide leadership in environmental management, conservation and protection towards sustainability for the benefit of the people of Northern Cape and South Africans in general including the global community,” she said.

MEC Manopole said the successful implementation of the above plans depends on the dedication of all officials in the Department and the commitment of our stakeholders in the sector.

“Key to this is also continued collaborations with sister department, state institutions, the private sector and NGOs in the development of our economy alongside the protection of our environment,” she concluded.

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