New face of resettlement

04 January 2021 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

The government has introduced three models under its new resettlement policy and moved away from a one-size-fits-all approach in an effort to empower previously disadvantaged Namibians to become self-reliant and to address the overcrowded resettlement farms.

A total of 41 resettlement farms have been identified as overcrowded, while 435 beneficiaries are to be granted allotment letters by the land ministry.

This is contained in a progress report of the second national land conference, which indicates that a maximum of 50-year renewable, inheritable and transferable leases may be granted to beneficiaries who successfully complete the probation period of five years.

The report stated that government has developed three resettlement models and included them in the revised draft National Resettlement Policy that was submitted to the Law Reform Commission for editing on 8 September 2020 before consideration by Cabinet.

Models

These models include a High Economic Value Model which is aimed at empowering mainly landless commercial farmers farming on leased commercial agricultural land.

“The objective is to enable beneficiaries to become economically self-reliant, to participate in the wider economy and to create jobs. It is also aimed at systematically address the existing skewed land ownership by phasing formerly disadvantaged Namibians into the mainstream of the national economy,” the report said.

It added that beneficiaries must be prepared to enter into a purchase agreement that gives them the opportunity to buy the leased land at the end of the probation period of three years, or vacate the land at the end of the 10-year lease.

This model, however, excludes those farmers who have benefitted under the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme.

Meanwhile, the Low Economic Value Model targets landless citizens who are neither farming in communal areas nor leasing on privately-owned commercial farmland but aims to enhance their welfare through small-scale farming on no more than 50 hectares.

These beneficiaries will also be granted a maximum of 50-year renewable, inheritable and transferable lease once they complete the five-year probation period.

Through the Moderate Economic Value Model, small and medium-holder communal farmers in overcrowded areas, whose farming ventures are threatened by the environment, will be empowered to become self-reliant.

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