Escalating farm prices affect land acquisition in Khomas

Farm prices are ever escalating and not matching the financial resources at the Khomas Regional Council's disposal, making it difficult for the region to acquire sufficient agricultural land to meet the high demand.

These are the concerns of Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua, who says, apart from the willing buyer-willing seller principle, government might need to explore other various avenues provided for in the law.

She said during the period April 2017 to March this year, 17 farms were advertised and processed by Khomas Regional Council's division of lands under the National Resettlement Programme with 31 farming units.

However, she added that there were not many farms purchased in the region.

2 967 applications were received and processed by the Khomas Lands Regional Office.

She said out of these applications, only six applicants from the Khomas Region were successful and were allocated farming units.

Khomas remains pressed with demand for both rural land for farming and urban land for residential purposes, with land grabbing incidences where people in rural areas are grabbing land for small scale farming in rural constituencies neighbouring the City of Windhoek, just as those inside the City are grabbing land to set up residential structures.

Although, the boundaries were extended to a radius of not less than 50 km in all directions � Groot Aub in the south, Okapuka in the north, Baumgartsbrunn in the west and Seeis in the east, the governor said 95 percent of the land is still in private hands, while government owns 4.5 percent.

The remaining 1 percent is in the hands of parastatals.

During the period in question, the Ministry of Land Reform in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders, managed to bring resettled farmers for a farmer's day event in the region.

The objective of the farmer's day was to share farming experiences aimed at educating the farmers on best farming practices to boost their farming activities for increased production.

Therefore, she urged Namibians to help organise and host the second National Land Conference that aims to address the challenges of land reform in the country.

President Hage Geingob in his New Year message in 2017 informed the nation that the government would forge ahead with the hosting of the conference to review the resolutions of the first land conference of 1991 and chart the way forward.

Now we know that the conference would only take place in October this year. So now, more than ever we shall also keep urging our people of Khomas and the rest of Namibia to be very patient while the government through the Ministry of Land Reform is organising the hosting of the second conference that will deliberate and pass resolutions on some of the pertinent issues on land reform in the country, she said.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia