Agricultural Business and Capacity Development
Title: Agricultural Business and Capacity Development Project
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and EU co-financed component Communal Land Development Project – Advisory Services
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
With independence on 21 March 1990, the Government of the Republic of Namibia inherited an asymmetrical system of land distribution defined along racial lines. In addition to unfairly distributed land entitlements, Namibia also featured a sharp contrast in land governance between commercially utilised land in central and southern regions, and communal land in the north of the country (Northern Communal Areas, NCA). After independence, the Government of the Republic of Namibia embarked on the implementation of different land reform programmes to bring about more equitable land distribution and access to land, to promote sustainable economic growth, to lower income inequalities and to reduce rural poverty.
Albeit availability of land and tenure security constitute key requisites for inclusive development, strong technical farming skills and knowledge as well as a sound understanding of agricultural markets are important to effectively make use of allocated land and to sustainably reduce poverty. Although many new land users have an agricultural background as communal farmers or as farm workers, capacity development is needed in commercially-driven farm management and in the adoption of market-orientated modes of production. Only once resettled farmers operate profitably and produce agricultural products that meet market requirements, will rural income and livelihoods sustainably improve.
Land resources that were secured or allocated through the Namibian land reform are being utilised in a sustainable and profitable manner.
The project follows a three-level approach that, firstly, consists of policy and strategy advice aiming at improving the framework conditions for the provision of effective, suitable and targeted support services to new and emerging farmers.
The second component seeks to strengthen the impact of service provision through further developing the capacities of technical extension officers, particularly in organisational development, diversification, farming as a business and market-orientation and to create need-oriented, responsive and cost-effective support services.
The third component aims to increase access and use of agricultural advisory services by farmers, focusing in particular on access to information relevant to the agricultural sector through digital solutions, platforms and the production of new training materials on innovative subjects.