Government acquires 16 farms worth over N$160 million

Home National Government acquires 16 farms worth over N$160 million

WINDHOEK – To ensure equitable distribution and access to land, the Ministry of Land Reform has acquired 16 farms measuring more than 320 300 hectares valued at N$164.5 million during the 2017/18 financial year.

This was revealed by Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma, when he officially addressed his staff at the ministry last Thursday. He said during that period, 12 families were resettled. This number falls short in comparison to the number of households that requires land for various purposes. “Although several innovative approaches to acquire land under the current legal framework are being introduced to encourage the release of land on to the market, the amount of land that is eventually acquired still falls short of the current demand as reflected by the number of applicants for advertised farms, and this trend continue to have a negative impact on the overall performance of the ministry,” he noted. Thus last year’s second national land conference deliberated on the matter and key resolutions to address the issue were adopted to help the ministry respond to this predicament. However, Nujoma explained that land acquisition is a continuous challenge because of the price at which agricultural land is offered to government. Therefore, Nujoma said, efforts to motivate for additional funding under the land reform programme, especially for land purchase, have been made and they will keep flagging the issue at appropriate forums. The ministry has also been systematically working on rehabilitating farm infrastructure on some resettlement farms to reduce the current backlog.

The ministry has now acquired new solar pumping systems to be installed on 170 water units which shall benefit 132 farms. Equally, four farming units in the //Kharas region had been installed with solar infrastructure and boreholes have been drilled at farm Mbambi in the Omaheke region,  Wagnog and Wermer in Otjozondjupa and Klein Otuwapa in the Erongo region.

Nujoma said during 2017/18, 1 423 land rights were registered, while 682 parcels were mapped, and 3 257 were entered in the database, and 1 292 village maps were displayed, 1 039 land rights recorded and 1 037 certificates were issued.
Furthermore, in the area of lease administration on both resettlement farms and communal areas leaseholds, N$49 263 was collected under the resettlement leases, while N$170 111 was collected under communal area leaseholds.

The communal land development programme has inspected and handed over water infrastructure at Okongo West in Ohangwena region to benefit the Onghalulu cooperative. The programme aims to improve the land-based livelihoods of rural communities through developing communal lands for  better integration into the mainstream economy.

In the Zambezi region work on the drilling of eight  boreholes in Mayeyi communal area has commenced, Nujoma said. In the Omusati region, he noted that the Otjitjekua farm infrastructure is 95 percent complete, pending the installation of boreholes, while in Ongandjera West work on the infrastructure is at 98 percent  complete.  

At  Amarika,  work is 75 percent complete and what is  pending is the testing of the pipeline while the construction of Okatumba solar station and construction of a 68-km fence in that area has also been completed. The minister further revealed that 1 528 farmers were mentored collectively in the Omusati and Kavango regions in areas of marketing, rangeland management, cooperative business, vaccination, disease control, bull scheme, road keeping, dehorning, castration and lick feeding.

In Kavango West and Kavango East 164 farmers were trained in various production related practical courses and 101 farmers attended the farmers information day. In Omusati, 63 farmers (Otjetjekua 34 and Amarika 29) were trained in animal health, cleaning campaign, auction strategies and gardening.