More than 400 resettlement farms purchased in 10 years

13 Sep 2018 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 13 SEP (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Land Reform acquired 443 farms, totalling a land mass of 3 021 959 hectares, through the National Resettlement Programme (NRP) between 2008 and 2018.
The figures are contained in the draft Namibia Land Statistics booklet which was presented by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) on Thursday.
In addition to the 443 farms, a further 53 farms were transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry for resettlement purposes, taking the tally of farms to 496 during the period under review.
The booklet shows that from 2008 until June 2018, 5 352 beneficiaries were resettled on the 496 farms, which averages 12 beneficiaries per farm.
In terms of distribution, the //Kharas and Hardap regions lead the pack as the regions where most resettlement farms are found, with 95 and 91 farms purchased respectively during the period in question.
The two are followed by Omaheke with 88, Otjozondjupa 60, Erongo 25 and Oshikoto with 17 farms.
Kunene, the Queen Sofia Resettlement Project and Khomas have the least resettlement farms – 16, 15 and 14 respectively.
“Group resettlement projects and San development projects and cooperatives form part of the total figure of 5 352 beneficiaries,” it reads further.
One of the key objectives of the Land Reform Act is to vest in the State a preferential right to purchase agricultural land for the purpose of the Act.
It is therefore a statutory obligation as per this Act for a seller of agricultural land to first offer it to Government.
When this happens, Government after conducting its own assessment and with due consideration of the availability of funds resolves to buy or waive the offer of such land.
A total of 5.1 million hectares of agricultural land was waived from 1992 to 2018.
The largest piece of farmland waived is in the Otjozondjupa Region at 1.5 million hectares.
Information contained in the booklet will be used at the upcoming land conference to inform the debate.
“It is my hope that the land statistics will inform our debate during and after the second national land conference,” NSA’s board chairperson, John Steytler is quoted as saying in the book.
The conference takes place from 01 to 05 October 2018.