1.7m hectares still needed for land reform target

03 May 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

A total of 1.7 million hectares is yet to be acquired to meet the set target of five million hectares under the Land Reform Programme.

However, the price at which agricultural land is offered to government in relation to the appropriated budget for land acquisition remains a challenge.

A total of 556 farms - at an overall cost of about N$2.23 billion - were acquired through the Land Reform Programme since its inception in 1990.

The collective size of these farms is more than 3.36 million hectares.

This is according to a technical paper handed in by land reform minister Calle Schlettwein last week when he motivated the ministry’s budget.

According to the report, in response to skewed land distribution and ownership patterns, government in 1990 initiated the Land Reform Programme to ensure an equitable distribution of and access to land.

It also aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth and lowering inequalities and reducing poverty by acquiring five million hectares of agricultural commercial land available to the previously disadvantaged landless Namibians within the provisions of the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act as amended.

Communal land rights

Meanwhile, under the Communal Land Development Programme, 7 538 communal land rights have been registered during the 2020/2021 financial year, of which 7 347 are customary land rights, 84 leaseholds and 27 occupational land rights.

According to the report, the actual number of land rights registered now stands at 136 626. Further, 8 263 communal land right certificates have been issued during the reporting period, which brings the total issued to 127 592.

For the 2021/2022 financial year, the programme plans to register a target of 10 000 communal land rights.

The agriculture, water and land reform ministry’s total budget is N$1.721 billion for the 2021/2022 financial year. Of this total, N$1.255 billion is allocated to agriculture and land reform, while N$465.262 million is allocated to the water sector.

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