The Department is a result of a merger between two previously independent government departments. Those were the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department Rural Development and Land Reform.
The former was responsible for South African agricultural sector development, while the latter (which still exists) has a bigger scope. It now includes the rural parts as well in its development plans.
The current vision of DALRRD is to ensure equal access to land, food, and sustainable agriculture for all citizens of South Africa. It also works for an integrated rural development approach.