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The SADC Land and Agrarian Reform Initiative. The case of Namibia

The SADC Land and Agrarian Reform Initiative. The case of Namibia

Willem Odendaal works in the Legal Assistance Centre on the Land, Environment and Development Project
Odendaal, Willem
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Weitere Empfehlungen zu The SADC Land and Agrarian Reform Initiative. The case of Namibia

Author: Willem Odendaal
For Community Technology Development Trust
African Institute of Agrarian Studies
NEPRU WORKING PAPER NO. 111
The Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit
Windhoek, 2006
Spiral binding, 21x30 cm, 56 pages


About the author:

Willem Odendaal works in the Legal Assistance Centre on the Land, Environment and Development Project.


Extract: 4. Impact of Land and Agrarian Reform

4.1. Food Security

Namibia’s low and unreliable rainfall pattern limits its potential as a commercial, self-sufficient and reliable agricultural crop producer. Extended periods of drought impact heavily on Namibia's agricultural sector and the tenuous food security of the rural poor.

Also, during the 1990s livestock losses were heavy due to drought. The world-wide overproduction of cattle and the increased degradation of grazing lands threatens Namibia’s commercial farming sector. In addition, it is estimated that as many as 60 to 80% of Namibia’s commercial farms are not profitable.78

Commercial farmers were heavily subsidised during South African rule and it appears that Namibia’s farmers are now feeling the effects of the gradual withdrawal of those subsidies. In recent years, commercial livestock farmers have moved increasingly towards mixed game/livestock farming and many have embarked upon wildlife-based tourism enterprises.

This trend in stock diversification has helped to maintain biodiversity and creates a valuable buffer against the effects of drought. In addition, the demand for horticulture exceeds the local production in Namibia by far. It is estimated that local Namibian producers supply only 18% according to value of the demand while 82% is imported.79

Agricultural incomes for the estimated 150 000 households living on communal land are very low, mainly because they are excluded from benefits such as improved farming techniques, technology, access to formal credit facilities and regulated markets.

Communal farmers are mostly dependent on rain-fed crops (mainly millet) and livestock and receive little income at all from their work: almost all of their production is consumed by their own households. Thus, the logic and potential of the land reform process should not only be analysed against the legacy of colonialism and apartheid, but also against the reality of the agricultural potential and the environmental realities of Namibia.

Footnotes:

78 Werner reports that about 30% of all farmers are essentially debt free, but that the average farmer had a debt of N$227,000 and would have to sell off 64% of his livestock herd to repay that debt. If one removes the 30% who are debt free from that average, the average farmer is in debt over $300,000 or roughly the total value of her/his livestock. Wolfgang Werner, “Agriculture and Land, in Henning Melber, Namibia: A Decade of Independence, 1990-2000, Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit, Publication No. 7, 2000, at 33.

79 National Horticulture Development Initiative: Feasibility Study into the Development of Infrastructure for the Marketing of Horticultural Produce in Namibia compiled by International Development Consultants (IDC) in Association with Agritel and MBB Consulting Engineers for the Namibian Agronomic Board as implementing Agent for the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, May 2004 at 5.


Table of contents:

Acknowledgements
Disclaimer
Table of contents
List of tables
Acronyms

1. Background
1.1. Land Area and Geographical Location
1.2. Population
1.3. GDP

2. Land and Agrarian Context
2.1. Evolution of Policy
2.2. Institutional Framework
2.2.1. Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (MLR)
2.2.2. Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry
2.2.3. Ministry of Regional and Local Government and Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD)
2.2.4. Other Ministries
2.2.5. Non-Governmental Organisations
2.2.6. Conclusion

3. Current Situation
3.1. Key Land Policy Issues
3.1.1. Land Distribution
3.1.2. Introduction of land tax
3.1.3. Land Expropriation
3.1.4. The Land Reform Programme
3.1.5. The Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS)
3.1.6. Land Tenure
3.1.7. Land Administration
3.1.8. The Urban Land Question
3.2. Key Agrarian Issues
3.2.1. Agricultural Strategies
3.2.2. Emerging Commercial Farmers Support Programme
3.2.3. Research
3.2.4. Extension
3.2.5. Information
3.2.6. Markets and credit
3.2.7. Leasehold agreements for resettlement beneficiaries
3.2.8. Provision of credit through Agribank
3.2.9. Infrastructure

4. Impact of Land and Agrarian Reform
4.1. Food Security
4.2. Poverty Reduction
4.3. Economic Growth
4.4. Environment
4.5. Equity

5. Challenges and Initiatives

6. Recommendations
6.1. Providing clear criteria for expropriation of land
6.2. Factors to be considered when land is expropriated
6.3. Farm workers
6.4. Sustainability of Resettlement Projects
6.5. Environmental rehabilitation
6.6. Integrated agricultural economy
6.7. Gender issues
6.8. Skills sharing and training methods
6.9. Using resettlement farms as collateral
6.10. Solving farm worker disputes

List of References
List of tables
Table 1 Tenure Types


Acronyms:

AALS Affirmative Action Loan Scheme
ADC Agricultural Development Centre
Agribank Agricultural Bank of Namibia
BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
CIM Centrum für Internationale Migration
DED Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED)
DRFN Desert Research Foundation of Namibia
EED Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst
EU European Union
FAO Food and Agricultural Organization (of the UN)
GTZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit
IMSCLUP Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee for Land Use Planning
InWEnt Organisation für internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung
IPPR Institute for Public Policy Research
KFW Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW)
LAC Legal Assistance Centre
LEAD Land, Environment and Development (Project of the LAC)
LRAC Land Reform Advisory Commission
LSU Large stock unit
MAWF Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry
MLR Ministry of Lands and Resettlement
MRLGHRD Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural
Development
NACP National Agricultural Credit Programme
NASSP National Agricultural Support Services Programme
NAU Namibian Agricultural Union
NEPRU Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit
NGO Non-governmental organisation
NNFU Namibian National Farmers’ Union
NRP National Resettlement Policy
SSU Small stock unit
UN United Nations
UNAM University of Namibia
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UST University of Science and Technology
WCC Windhoek City Council