Land is a productive asset: Ithindi

02 Oct 2018 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 OCT (NAMPA) – Land put to productive use can contribute to social development and social transformation.
This was said by senior technical economics advisor to the Minister of Finance, Penda Ithindi during the second National Land Conference underway here on Tuesday.
Speaking about the social and economic implications of land, Ithindi said access to land is a necessary condition which by itself does not unleash the productivity of land.
He said Namibia’s unemployment levels are at 34 per cent; youth unemployment at 43 per cent; absolute poverty at 17 per cent and extreme poverty at 10 per cent, with the inequality rate being the second highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Giving an economic perspective on land, Ithindi said the performance of the agricultural sector as a share of the gross domestic product has for the past two decades been on a declining path.
“It is falling because the other shares of the economy have perhaps grown faster than the agricultural sector, which has been falling because of the shocks and environmental factors that affect that sector,” he said.
He noted that land reform was supposed to unleash the potential of agriculture for the betterment of Namibians.
Successful land reform, Ithindi added, requires increased net output from the agricultural sector.
He said the per capita income of the beneficiaries would then increase, but there must be existing capable mass of enterprising potential farmers.
“The basis from an economic point of view is that whatever we do, we would want the reforms that we take to lead to increased flow of net economic gains from acquired ownership,” he said.
Ithindi said the success of the land reform agenda and resolutions taken at the land conference would be measured by the regions, in which reforms result in the increase of net benefits to the country, production and the extent to which such reforms contribute to increased per capita income of the beneficiaries of the country.
The five-day conference ends Friday.