Statement by Francois Baird, founder of the FairPlay movement
The FairPlay movement mourns the death of Prof Mohammad Karaan, one of South Africa’s leading agricultural economists and a founding member of FairPlay’s panel of experts.
Prof Karaan was known and respected throughout the agricultural sector. Known for his intellect, insight and often forceful opinions on agricultural matters, he agreed to join our expert panel when it was formed. We will miss his sage advice and his friendship.
Prof Karaan, professor in Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University, was a former dean of the faculty of AgriSciences at the university, from which he first graduated in 1990. He went on to obtain his MSc (Agric) in 1994 and his PhD (Agric) in 2006 at the same university.
His contribution to South Africa has been huge, in both the public and private sectors. He was a member of the National Planning Commission, had served in executive positions on the Land Bank and the Agricultural Research Council and was a former president of the South African Society of Agricultural Economists.
He served on the boards of various companies and had chaired a ministerial committee that reviewed the Agricultural Marketing Act. He was also a successful entrepreneur in his own right.
At the time of his death he was a management committee member of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University.
Prof Karaan brought to the FairPlay movement not only his deep expertise and sage advice, but always made his extensive network available to our cause. He made time for us and like all of us at FairPlay, he stood on the side of the people. He genuinely cared about people, especially those who are poor, powerless and voiceless. We are distraught at his passing.
It is a tragedy for the country that Covid-19 has claimed his life at the young age of 52. FairPlay extends its heartfelt condolences to Prof Karaan’s family, friends and colleagues.