WINDHOEK - In its efforts to ensure equitable distribution and access to land to previously disadvantaged Namibians, the Ministry of Land Reform this financial year has put aside N$120 million to acquire resettlement farms for resettlement purposes.
Motivating his ministry’s budget of N$497 million in parliament recently, Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma said the ministry during the previous financial year acquired 12 farms measuring 69 633.2078 hectares at a total cost of about N$133 million.
He said during the said period 13 families were resettled, however, 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 onto the market - the amount of land that is eventually acquired still falls short of the current demand,” he said.
In this regard, Nujoma said he is happy to report that the Second National Land Conference deliberated on this matter and key resolutions to address this issue were adopted and will assist the ministry to respond to the different land needs.
“Related to land acquisition is the continual challenge of the price at which agricultural land is offered to the government,” he said.
He added that efforts to motivate for additional funding under the Land Reform Programme especially for land purchase is a continuous discourse and engagement with the minister of finance.
Last year, the ministry reported that it had spent N$1.1 billion during the last five years to acquire 155 farms measuring 836,000 hectares for resettlement.
In the area of post-settlement, he said the ministry has been systematically working on a phased approach to rehabilitate the dilapidated farm infrastructure on some resettlement farms and reduce the current backlog.
To this end, he said the ministry has now acquired new solar pumping systems to be installed on 170 water units which will benefit 132 farmers.
“This response is important to ensure that farmers continue to produce and contribute to the country’s GDP,” he told lawmakers.
Nujoma says he is positive that with continued financial support, extension services, training and related pre- and post-settlement support, resettlement farmers will make a positive impact towards improved livelihoods and the agricultural sector in
Additionally, he said four farming units in the //Kharas Region have been installed with solar technology, while some boreholes have been drilled at farm Mbambi in the Omaheke Region, farm Wagnog and Wermer in Otjozondjupa, and Klein Otuwapa in Erongo Region.
Furthermore, Nujoma said a number of farming units in Erongo Region, Kunene and Otjozondjupa have been fenced and the programme is ongoing.
2019-05-14 09:23:17 5 days ago