Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture Unveils New Draft Settlement Criteria

In a significant move towards enhancing land reform, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform in Namibia has announced a comprehensive draft settlement policy. This new policy introduces three innovative models: high economic value, moderate economic value, and low economic value, each tailored to boost productivity and foster self-reliance among farmers.

Aimed at rectifying historical colonial injustices, the policy is a step towards ensuring socio-economic equity for all Namibians. This initiative was highlighted during NBC’s coverage of a consultative meeting, where key insights were shared by various local leaders, including Vuk Rural Constituency Councilor Pit Adams.

Adams, having reviewed the policy, emphasized its potential to address the critical challenges faced by those at the grassroots, particularly generational farmworkers and individuals employed for extended periods on commercial farms. The policy notably seeks to protect these workers, who often face displacement upon reaching retirement.

Under the high economic value model, eligibility criteria include being a commercial farmer from a previously disadvantaged community, with a requisite capital of at least $500,000. The moderate economic value model sets the capital requirement between $500,000 to a million. Additionally, age factors into the consideration process, highlighting the policy’s focus on inclusive development.

The policy notably prioritizes marginalized communities, including the San, Nama, Ovaherero, and Damara, reflecting the Ministry’s commitment to a broad-based and equitable land reform process. These measures are in response to the resolutions from the second land conference held in 2018, which called for urgent action to alleviate issues like overcrowding of livestock and land degradation in various communities.

This draft policy marks a pivotal moment in Namibia’s journey towards fair and effective land reform, aiming to release pressure from overburdened communities and pave the way for a more equitable and productive agricultural sector.

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