12 Jun 2013 07:40
RUNDU, 12 JUN (NAMPA) ? The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement has received over 20 applications for small-scale commercial farms (SSCF) since the ministry?s announcement that the moratorium on the allocation of SSCF in the Kavango Region would be lifted.
The announcement was made early last month.
Lands and Resettlement Minister Alpheus !Naruseb during a joint consultative meeting with the leaders of traditional authorities in the Kavango Region last month, advised the Kavango Communal Land Board to immediately resume the allocation of small-scale commercial farms.
The allocation of SSCF was halted by the Lands Ministry some two years ago as it was realised that there was often double allocation of farms, in some instances to one family.
The allocation was also halted to enable the ministry to conduct extensive consultations on the development and standard criteria of SSCF allocations.
The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement?s Deputy Director for the north-eastern regions, Appolinaris Kannyinga told Nampa on Wednesday that about 26 new applications were received since the withdrawal of the SSCF moratorium by !Naruseb on 10 May.
Kannyinga said about 14 applications were on hold since the moratorium was imposed.
The applications are for the rights of leasehold for agricultural purposes inside and outside designated areas, and other land use.
Among the notable new applications received is an application by HJM Agric Investment Company, a South African-based private investor, which was in January this year accused by villagers in the Ndiyona Constituency of illegally occupying communal land at the Ndiyona village without the approval of the Kavango Regional Communal Land Board.
The village is situated some 80 kilometres east of Rundu.
HJM Agric Investment, however, earlier claimed that it rightfully received the land, measuring over 2 000 hectares, from the Gciriku Traditional Authority in order to set up a green scheme project.
Residents from the three villages of Rucara, Hoha and Kashipe objected to the development, claiming that they never consented to the idea of giving up their mahangu fields and customary land rights.