Land demands must be met to support socioeconomic growth: McLeod-Katjirua

The scope of land demand has expanded, and numerous land demands must be met to support Namibia’s common socioeconomic growth, Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua has said.

Dispossessed communities are also demanding quicker land delivery, and the youth are calling for land to drive economic development, McLeod-Katjirua said at a stakeholder consultative workshop by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to review the criteria for the national resettlement policy, held in Windhoek on Tuesday.

Cabinet in May this year approved the Revised National Resettlement Policy that will run from 2023 to 2033, replacing the 1991 to 2001 National Resettlement Policy.

The revision was required to include resolutions taken during the second land conference held in 2018 that placed emphasis on landlessness through dispossession and the inability to maintain resettlement farms due to a lack of resources after acquisition.

McLeod-Katjirua said it is in the national interest of the country to encourage the em
powerment of women, marginalised people, and vulnerable groups, as well as to continue the pursuit of integrating veterans into a productive society.

‘In some communities, we witness overcrowding of livestock and land degradation, hence there is a need to relief pressure from such communities and to avoid land degradation,’ she said.

She noted that she is reliably informed of the Cabinet-approved resettlement strategy, and that the new policy has taken a different approach by adopting three resettlement models, including the high, moderate, and low economic models, as well as a better assistance package.

‘The review of the resettlement criteria is of paramount importance to us representatives of different stakeholders. We must ensure that by the end of today, we would have aligned our criteria to cater for dispossessed communities, youth, women, marginalised groups, generational farm workers and large communal farmers,’ she said.

The Namibia resettlement programme involves the movement of people from an a
rea with insufficient resources to a place which is more likely to provide a better standard of living. It is a voluntary programme for which people apply and choose their preferred area of resettlement.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency