Farmers rue lack of post-resettlement support

To maximise land use, camps fencing infrastructure must be properly erected and demarcated.

09 July 2020 | Business

I had to take out money out of my own pocket to fix it. Obed Hamutenya, resettlement beneficiary: Omaheke

By Edward Mumbuu Jnr

Some resettlement beneficiaries have expressed discontent in governments post-resettlement support programme, which they suggest, derails the productivity and profitability of such farms.

The lack of support to develop dilapidated infrastructure and advisory services are the chief concerns. Joe Hepute, who was resettled in 2019, noted that the current post-resettlement programmes hamper the agricultural potential of recipients.

To maximise land use, camps fencing infrastructure must be properly erected and demarcated. So, I had to spend a lot of money. At the end of the day, this delays the objective of resettlement, which is to create employment and contribute toward the gross domestic product, he said.

The sustainable agriculture graduate added that upon resettlement, the beneficiary must immediately start farming, but it is not the case in most cases as one is inundated with repair works.

Ben Kapi, a resettlement beneficiary in the Kunene Region complained about the lack of adequate water on his farm.

When you are resettled, you are told there is enough water, just for you to wake to the reality that even the one windmill is out of order. Then it goes to fencing, which is a huge challenge, he said.

Echoing Kapis sentiments was Obed Hamutenya, a resettlement beneficiary in the Omaheke Region.

My water pump has not been working for quite some time. As per the law, I engaged the relevant authorities about this issue but did not get any response. I had to take out money out of my own pocket to fix it.

Responding to questions, executive director in the Agriculture Ministry, Percy Misika said the government is doing everything to empower resettled farmers.

The ministry provides security of tenure to the beneficiaries by issuing them long-term lease agreements for 99 years. The ministry also provides tailor-made pre- and post-resettlement support, Misika said. - Nampa

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