16 FARMERS Tuesday, December 12 2017 | NEW ERA deals not unique to Namibia MUMBAI Against the backdrop of recent media reports which have sent alarm bells ringing in the country following the bid of a Russian citizen to buy additional commercial land and Reform millions in apparent help in land reform, it seems the problem is not akin to Namibia only. This bid by the Russian tycoon, who already owns commercial land in Namibia, has raised eyebrows along with a groundswell of opposition by Namibians to foreign nationals owning land in the country, in view of the acute land hunger, especially among the land dispossessed. Equally large land deals in Africa with foreign companies have come under renewed Karuturi Global, demanded compensation for the cancellation of its lease of farmland in Ethiopia. have earmarked some 11.5 million hectares (28.5 million say Karuturi failed to make adequate progress on the land. Activists say neither side addresses the more critical issue of millions of people being forcefully removed from ancestral lands with little consultation or compensation. Ethiopian government of- being forced from their homes to make way for large farms. Here are some facts about large land deals in Africa: * More than 117 large-scale land deals totalling about 22 million hectares, an area the size of the U.S. state of Utah, have been recorded in 21 African countries in the last 12 years. * The land areas range from 1,000 hectares to 10 million hectares. * East Africa accounts for 45 percent of these deals, with Ethiopia making up about 27 percent of all deals. * About 45 percent of investors are Western and North investors. food crops, industrial crops including biofuels, and for carbon sinks and carbon trading. zania has announced ceilings on the size of land deals – up to 5,000 hectares for rice and 10,000 hectares for sugar cane. - Oakland Institute, GRAIN. PPA hosts SADC Poultry Liaison Forum The Poultry Producers Association of Namibia hosted a Southern African Development Community meeting in Windhoek last week. Six SADC countries attended the meeting, namely Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia and South Africa. The purpose of the meeting was to allow SADC countries to Staff Reporter Windhoek Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro Windhoek While progress has been made through awareness meetings in different regions and farmers now understand the importance of rangeland principles, emerging commercial farmers still face many challenges in rangeland management, says a member of this sector of a farming working group on rangeland, Seretse Olibile. Olibile was one of the participants in the National Rangeland and Bush Encroachment Forum session here last month. With respect to the challenges which commercial farmers face in knowing the resource base, Olibile cites lack of knowledge, suggesting training by DAPEES (the Directorate of Agricultural Production, get to know each other in order to middle ground on technical and trade-related matters. Delegates at the meeting shared common issues. The forum encourages members to develop a combined view that will allow them to work with the SADC secretariat when necessary. Delegates complimented Namibians on their beautiful, clean country. Reports from the Agricultural Bank of Namibia have indicated that both farmers with Programme have been performing poorly because of lack of capacity and inadequate and unstructured support services by various stakeholders. This prompted the government to embark on the Capacity Building farmers. The second phase of this initiative was launched by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry - implemented under the Ministry of initiative has now been transferred to the MAWF, which is now to continue with its second phase. This is to facilitate and improve the provision of services such as extension and Shiweda says following compilation of the Agribank reports, government recognised the importance of capacitating farmers benefitting from the two schemes for more productivity. The deputy minister says that over the past years the government and its stakeholders in the agricultural sector have been working jointly and tirelessly to improve farming business on resettlement farms. This is to help farmers realise an improved livelihood. Hence the importance of the initiative in complementing activities supporting resettlement farmers. The objectives of the strategy are to provide targeted intervention to provide rare stakeholders with a rare opportunity to deliver coordinated prove the service delivery of MAWF and experts as solutions. Regarding effective management of rangeland so that it can rest and recover, he points out lack of know-how as the main cause of all problems faced by all emerging commercial farmers, as well as the lack of mentors. To manage the utilisation of rangeland effectively he sees too group resettlement as the challenges. Possible solutions to these challenges are the subdivision of camps, availing funds to DAPEES to go out and train farm managers, and the Agricultural Bank of Namibia ring-fencing loans rather than only concentrating on loans to make business. Overstocking, overgrazing and deforestation are the challenges Agribank gives more time for loan repayments Agribank announced that they have adopted new credit evaluation norms and now offer longer grace periods for loan repayments. For short-term farming activities such as horticulture production and grain crop under irrigation and dry land, the bank now offers a grace period of eight months before farmers. This is in line with MAWF’s mandate to promote, develop, manage and utilise agricultural, water and forestry resources. The expectation is for farmers to have better access to more and better-structured and consistent services once the strategy is fully implemented, making them more productive and self-sustaining. The strategy will also complement existing policies and strategies on national and household food security through empowering farmers. working against enhancing soil conditions. Possible solutions are training in farm management techniques and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry buying in on the National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy. ment faces challenges such as farm- bush encroachment, the inhibitive terms and rates of Agribank loans and restrictive policies. Olibile suggests in this regard that the government creates a soft loan under the Ministry of Industrialisa- that Agribank softens its commercial harmonises policies, and the Department of Forestry review its policy and approach towards forestry to include loan repayment begins. The grace period for mediumterm loans such as livestock for speculation is now 18 months compared to 12 months previously. Repayments for weaner production loans for beginners are now due in 24 months with a reduced loan term of eight years instead of the previous 12 months over a 10-year loan term. Govt recognises need to capacitate farmers – Shiweda Anna Shiweda Emerging commercial farmers progress but challenges remain “The ministry recognises the existence of challenges that farmers experience during and after their transition from communal to commercial set-up. This strategy is therefore designed to address some of those challenges,” says Shiweda. Some of the strategic interventions would be the establishment and alignment of stakeholder platforms with existing coordination plat- systems on farms visited and the provision of pre- and post-resettlement capacity building courses, amongst others. The deputy minister encourages all stakeholders to acquaint themselves with all strategic interventions contained in the document and to ensure that they are effectively and practically implemented. Agriculture like any other enterprise faces a number of risks in believes that some of these challenges can be overcome if stakeholders work together and address them holistically, comprehensively and in a coordinated manner. She assures farmers of the continued coordination and support of the ministry’s extension and engineering services during implementation of the strategy. But to achieve a comprehensive coverage across the country, it is important for stakeholders to share responsibilities. bush encroachment. Regarding drought planning, the challenges are lack of knowledge be deployed to educate farmers on rangeland management, and that mentorship be applied. In monitoring the resource base, lack of knowledge, part-time farm- records, and the lack of enough veterinarians and mentors to assist farmers are the challenges. He thus suggests that line ministries team up to help farmers, and that skills be appointed and mentors be ship work against planning in land use infrastructure, thus capital should be subsidised and loans be provided at low interest. Also recommended is that the government speeds up the rehabilitation of farm units on resettlement farms and that it makes allotments.
Tuesday, December 12 2017 | NEW ERA 17 ra Sîsenao-i xa xoahe hâ A Sîsenao-i xa xoahe hâ C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s t o t h e N e w SWAPO Party Leadership Cde. Hage Gottfried Geingob Cde. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah Cde. Sophia Shaningwa Cde. Marco Hausiku SWAPO Party President SWAPO Party Vice-President ... S WA P O P a r t y S e c r e t a r y G e n e r a l S WA P O P a r t y D e p u t y S e c r e t a r y G e n e r a l T h e B o a r d o f D i r e c t o r s , M a n a g e m e n t a n d S t a f f o f Kalahari Holdings (PTY) LTD c o n g r a t u l a t e t h e n e w l y e l e c t e d S WA P O P a r t y l e a d e r s h i p i n c l u d i n g t h e t o p f o u r, P o l i t b u r o a n d C e n t r a l C o m m i t t e e . C d e P r e s i d e n t H a g e G e i n g o b t h e P a r t y h a s c h o s e n y o u a n d w e s t a n d b e h i n d y o u r t r i e d , t e s t e d , t r u s t e d a n d v i s i o n a r y l e a d e r s h i p i n o u r c o m m o n p u r s u i t o f p r o s p e r i t y f o r a l l N a m i b i a n s . ... NWZN Address: No. 161 Nelson Mandela Avenue Windhoek, Namibia Tel: +264 (0)61 225-333 or +264 (0)61 221-158 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org