Government should consider purchasing unsuitable land for resettlement purposes to induce sales from neighboring owners: FAO

WINDHOEK: Government should consider purchasing unsuitable land for resettlement purposes to induce sales from neighboring owners whose farms may be better or more suitable for resettlement.

This is one of the recommendations made by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in its latest Agricultural land price study shared during a stakeholders’ consultative workshop organised by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement here yesterday.

FAO consultant Fleefort Muzyamba said the government can consider purchasing unsuitable land strategically.

This is because the study has found that in many cases when a farm is bought by Government or an Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) buyer, some neighbouring land owners decide to sell theirs too as the location may no longer be favourable to them with the new neighbours on board.

The study showed that 40 per cent of farms offered to government were waived for various reasons, such as not meeting the suitability criteria, failure by Government to accept offers within the stipulated timeframe and recently, running out of funds to buy more farms.

It further indicated that more than 400 farms of more than 3 000 hectares in size have been waived since 1996.

SOURCE: NAMPA