Agriculture ministry acquires 33,822 hectares for land resettlement

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has last year acquired a total of 33,822 hectares of land at the cost of N$ 91,439,268.02 with the purpose of resettling landless Namibians.

Minister Calle Schlettwein, announced this last week in the National Assembly in his budget speech. Stating that the said hectors are equal to seven farms, and a total of 23 beneficiaries were resettled, of which one unit of the farms was allocated to four generational farm workers.

The also highlighted that a total of 7 821 Communal Land Right registrations were ratified by Communal Land Boards. While the continuous registration of communal land rights is critical in strengthening the security of land tenure in Communal areas, it is widely recognised that security of tenure helps to promote socio-communal development of people and encourages sustainable use of natural resources, which includes rangelands grazing and water.

Adding that the Revised Resettlement Policy was approved by Cabinet, providing for, among others, the option of resettled farmers to have Titles over their allocated farms, fully realising the empowerment objectives of the Land Reform agenda.

“For the 2024/25 Financial Year, a total of N$270,444,088.00 is allocated for the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme. This proposed allocation aims to, among others, support: land purchase sub programme, flexible land tenure system, integrated regional land use plans for Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kunene, Erongo and Khomas Regions,” he said.

The minister added one of the transformational reforms envisaged for the 2024/25 financial year is the tabling of the Land Bill in Parliament, which is now on the agenda for deliberation at the Cabinet Committee on Legislation. The Bill will, among others, empower the ministry to manage communal and commercial agricultural land through one legal instrument.

“Further, a revised criterion for resettlement will be developed on the back of the Revised Resettlement Policy as approved by Cabinet in May 2023 to give greater impetus on assessed productivity of the farms and to promote youth, women and vulnerable groups’ consideration in the resettlement activities.

On that note, the Revised National Resettlement Policy presents the Government’s commitment to address land redistribution challenges that our country continues to battle with a more coordinated, inclusive and transparent manner,” he explained.

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