Constitution must be upheld - NAU

28 September 2018 | Politics

The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) says it is looking forward to attending the country's second national land conference, adding it has “trust in the government that the constitution will be upheld”.

Union president Ryno van der Merwe will deliver a statement during the first day of the conference on Monday.

The union again reiterated that it fully supports the land reform process.

“We have trust in government that the constitution will be upheld while this process takes place,” Van der Merwe said.

He said the agricultural sector is in dire need of growth, and for this to be achieved, land productivity is critical.

He said the union developed a land ownership database of all title deeds in Namibia, and it continuously monitors the land reform process and changes in ownership.

The database currently shows that Namibia consists of 82.4 million hectares, of which 13.6 million hectares are in national parks and restricted areas.

Land utilised for agricultural purposes, private tourism, townlands and mines constitute about 68 million hectares, of which 56% (38 million hectares) is freehold title deed land and 44% communal land.

The NAU previously said all agricultural land in Namibia should be considered for statistical purposes.

The union said communal areas where agriculture takes place constitute approximately 30 million hectares, compared to the country's commercial agricultural land of approximately 38 million hectares.

“Carrying capacity on agricultural land plays an important role and must be taken into account.”

The union also said mining activities on agricultural land, as well as land on which state-owned enterprises reside, should be identified and not be considered part of agricultural land owned by “former beneficiaries”.

“Due to a peaceful land reform process implemented by government under the current and previous leadership, previously disadvantaged individuals as well as government currently own 9.5 million hectares of title deed areas in Namibia,” Van der Merwe said.

ELLANIE SMIT

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