NNFU calls for urgent redistribution of 70% of land

Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) has called for the urgent and deliberate redistribution of 70% of land that is owned by foreigners and previously advantage groups at the 2nd National Land Conference currently underway in Windhoek.

The future of agriculture lies in injecting serious investments in the communal areas through a robust broad-based integrated land distribution program for the rural poor, the president of NNFU Jason Emvula said.

“Such an accomplishment will empower the poorest segment of our society so that they are as well mainstreamed in the economy of the country. Land redistribution should not be seen as an act of chaos but that of patriotism and true fulfilment of our country’s long-term objectives attaining social and economic development and improving the quality of life,” he said.

He added that it is confusing and disheartening that whenever progressive entities in the form of government and other stakeholders convene for a common goal to resolve the skewed land question the prolonged suffering of Namibians for land continues unchallenged.

“But when the prolonged suffering of our people continues unchallenged then it is a perceived and accepted as normal practice and that it is supposed to be given a blessing, what a mismatch? Land redistribution to the identified weak and poor is the most empowering project that could be undertaken by our generation would like to correct the myth that resettling a farmer is the end in itself,” he said.

He added that as farmers they have learned from other countries where land reform programs have lifted the majority poor from poverty, and there has been proper programming and planning during the provision of post-settlement support services.
He said that the success of a land reform programme lies in having a strong and firm functional public sector collaboratively driving policy implementation with the private and non-state actors, with effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place.

“Access to agricultural inputs; access to sustainable and lucrative markets; access to quality veterinary and extension services; access to credit; access to mechanisation and seed systems; investment in research and development are cardinal virtues in driving a pro-poor agrarian led land reform agenda,” he said.
He added that land redistribution that is aimed at boosting agriculture production and productivity in the context of  Namibia will require a serious review of legislative instruments of which most of them are outdated and out of touch with the post-colonial prevailing climates and demands.