Strict stance on subdivision of farms

30 April 2018 | Agriculture

The subdivision of commercial farmland will in future be firmly regulated in a bid to ensure sustainability of farming operations and ecosystems.

The agriculture ministry last week introduced the outline of a future national policy aimed at protecting the important resource of agricultural land.

“The philosophy behind the national policy on subdivision and consolidation of agricultural land is aiming at redressing, in the spirit of national reconciliation and nation building, the challenge of subdivision and consolidation of agricultural land in order to promote sustainable economic development,” former agriculture minister John Mutorwa wrote in the foreword to the policy.

The policy, which addresses the lack of a “coherent policy and legal instruments to reliably and objectively direct the subdivision of agricultural land”, is aimed at freehold, or commercial, farming areas.

Land in communal areas, as well as resettlement farms, belongs to the State and is not covered under this policy, the ministry said.

The aim of the policy is to prevent unrestricted subdivision of farms that leads to “small, ecologically and economically non-viable farming units, which undermine the capacity of agricultural land users to sustainably derive decent living standards from agricultural land”.

Agriculture permanent secretary Percy Misika wrote in the executive summary of the new policy that the subdivision of agricultural land into units that are too small to be economically viable, “be it as a means of bequeathing inheritance among named beneficiaries in testamentary disposition, intestate succession, diving shares among shareholders or claimants, will not be permitted unless written consent has been obtained from the minister responsible for agriculture.”



During his official statement last week, newly appointed agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the new policy would guard against the subdivision of farmland into uneconomic units, as well as against speculation with agricultural land which inevitably results in inflated prices.



He added that given Namibia's different ecological zones and climatic conditions, the policy sets parameters used to determine viable agricultural economic unit sizes in specific areas.



!Naruseb said in an effort to address the high demand for land, landowners often opted to subdivide their farms into small portions.



“Unplanned or uncontrolled land subdivision into smaller units can easily lead to over-exploitation of resources, bush encroachment and permanent loss of the most fertile soils through erosion,” he pointed out.



He added that small, non-economical land units were likely to pose a threat to food security at national level.



“The high demand has resulted in the current situation where farms are sold at prices which by far exceed their real productive values,” he said.



Mutorwa emphasised that nearly 70% of Namibians depend on agriculture for their food, income and employment.



Yet Namibia's colonial history “facilitated the concentration of large tracts of fertile land in the hands of a small section of the population.”



Further, after independence, the price of land increased tremendously due to a very high demand and limited supply of available land.



“It is an undisputable fact that productive capacity of agrarian land in Namibia has been severely diminished as a result of land degradation to which bush encroachment and small land use are the major contributors,” Misika wrote.



Misika emphasised that post-independence policies and laws were aimed at advancing prosperity, dignity and improved human living standards while protecting vital natural ecosystems and resources through sustainable utilisation.



The permanent secretary explained that livestock production was the most appropriate land use type for Namibia's climate.



For that reason, farm unit sizes will be based on livestock production and the carrying capacity of the specific area.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Govt to fight AR over red line

1 day - 22 July 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe government intends to fight a lawsuit in which Affirmative Repositioning (AR) activist Job Amupanda demanded the removal of the...

NamLITS online users reach 10 000 mark

2 days ago - 21 July 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe Meat Board of Namibia has established that the registered users for NamLITS online have passed the 10 000 mark. On 12 July this...

Basic considerations of livestock handling

2 days ago - 21 July 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKHandling livestock is always a risky exercise that can culminate in significant livestock injuries and deaths on farms because of improper livestock handling and...

Crop diseases and their control measures

1 week ago - 14 July 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKTo successfully grow crops, a disease and pest control programme should be in place and good agricultural practices (GAPs) such as early planting and...

Shelter animals against extreme cold

1 week ago - 14 July 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKUnder extreme winter conditions farmers may have to take additional precautions to protect their animals from the coldThe following are some recommendations and suggestions...

Food insecurity on the rise

1 week ago - 13 July 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKDue to the rising hunger and malnutrition in Namibia, there is an increasing urgency to address key drivers of food and nutrition insecurity in...

Movement of cattle banned in Zambezi

1 week ago - 12 July 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe movement of all cloven-hooved animals in the Zambezi Region has been banned to stop the further spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).The chief veterinary...

SA poultry imports still banned

1 week ago - 12 July 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia is maintaining its suspension of the importation and in-transit movement of live, cloven-hoofed animals and their products, as well as live poultry and...

Agribusdev sweats as Calle buys time

2 weeks ago - 09 July 2021 | Agriculture

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEK A delay in the agriculture ministry’s plans to shut the cash-strapped...

Schlettwein engages livestock farmers

2 weeks ago - 07 July 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKRepresentatives of the Livestock Producers’ Organisation (LPO) and the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) recently held a virtual meeting with agriculture...

Latest News

Bridging the healthcare divide saves...

22 hours ago | Columns

Celia Sofia StephanusIn December 2019, Covid-19 became something for the world to worry about. It was no longer something that was just happening in Asia....

Give me Namibia’s unemployment problem...

22 hours ago | People

Wetumwene Shikage She was born in Katutura, in a settlement known as Gemeente, which she describes with pride saying that after apartheid during...

Border posts’ revenue in Zambezi...

22 hours ago | Economics

Border posts in Zambezi recorded a 26% decrease in revenue during the 2020/21 financial year, regional governor Lawrence Sampofu has said.Delivering his State of the...

Making his way up the...

22 hours ago | People

Desiree GasesEddie King was born and raised in the Western Transvaal town of Klerksdorp. He grew up in a home with loving, committed and hard-working...

Maria Louw manages an integral...

22 hours ago | People

Michelline NawatisesAfter being at Paratus for 14 years, Maria Louw considers herself to be “part of the furniture”, but Paratus considers her part of the...

Meeting the legal needs of...

22 hours ago | Business

Rivaldo Kavanga The firm is a general law practice. Their main areas of practice are criminal defence, labour law, commercial litigation, corporate governance, administrative law,...

EDITORIAL: Namibia must listen to...

22 hours ago | Opinion

The oil search in the Kavango East Region gives Namibia another glimmer of hope for a prime resource breakthrough, but this has not been without...

Breathing deep

22 hours ago | Business

During the first week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, Agra and Woermann, Brock & Co staff handed over more than 50 Oxygenators to recipients in...

Emilia Eino takesing up her...

22 hours ago | People

Emilia Eino has been in the ICT industry for the past ten years. She first served as a development planner responsible for ICT infrastructure development...

Load More