Green Scheme Policy: The Outline

By Prime Focus Reporter
June 2013
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Green Scheme Policy: The Outline

 

The formulation of the green scheme policy, which is guided by Namibia’s regional and international commitments, was formed in December 2008 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF).

 

The said commitments include instruments, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.       

 

The green scheme is designed to maximise irrigation opportunities along the maize triangle (Grootfontein, Tsumeb and Otavi), as well as in the north central and north eastern regions using the Kunene, Kavango and Zambezi rivers. It also serves to promote agro-projects in the South using Orange River and dams such as Naute and Hardap.

 

This policy aims at harnessing the resources of Government and other stakeholders to increase agriculture productivity and social development as envisaged in NDP III and Vision 2030 strategies.

 

The scheme is also designed to achieve the following objectives:

─To increase agriculture production and sector contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP);

─To promote investment in food production and the agro-industry;

─To mobilise private and public capital for investment in agriculture;

─To promote food security at national and household levels;

─To diversify agricultural production and products for the domestic and export markets;

─To promote research and adaptation of technology to increase productivity;

─To promote value addition and job creation; and

─To promote skills development and transfer of technology.

 

This policy aims to achieve these objectives through the following implementation strategies:

─Increasing the existing irrigated agricultural areas to full potential;

─Identifying potential areas for agricultural irrigation;

─Developing agro-projects at identified areas for irrigation;

─Developing storage facilities and marketing infrastructure;

─Mobilising public and private capital;

─Enhancing capacity building to ensure productivity and competitiveness;

─Facilitating research and development, technology transfer and adaptation;

─Implementing of good agricultural practices;

─Promoting the efficient utilisation of agricultural land and water resources; and

Diversifying agricultural crops and export promotion.

 

Target groups/beneficiaries

 

 Investors and irrigation expertise

The aim is to attract private investment and irrigation expertise to assist the Government in achieving its objectives of increased food production and skills transfer to emerging irrigation farmers.

Emerging commercial irrigation farmers

Whilst the purpose of the green scheme is to increase food production in Namibia, the main beneficiaries will be rural farming communities that are willing to venture into new agricultural activities. This will demand deliberate State intervention and support.

Rural communities

As far as employment and job creation are concerned, preference will be given to rural communities residing near the projects. This will be to stimulate the rural economy and subsequently increase its attractiveness to investors and employees alike.

Individuals with legal entitlement to land

The aim of this policy is to encourage existing farmland owners with access to irrigation water to assist Government in its drive to develop irrigation agriculture for enhanced food security and the diversification of agricultural production.

 

Farming models

 

The process of implementing the policy will combine several farming models through which a farmer may qualify for Government support. This will take cognisance of the various categories of farmers that could benefit from the policy and incentives, as well as their specific needs.

Private development in communal areas

 The private investor obtains the land through the Land Board in terms of Leasehold and then develops it according to an approved business plan. The private investor is not obliged to (but could) support small-scale irrigation farmers and may qualify for incentives as described in the green scheme incentive brochure.

Private development in commercial areas (on land with title deed)

When a private investor develops new or additional irrigation land in commercial areas, they qualify for incentives as described in the brochure.

State development in communal areas

The Agriculture Ministry obtains the land through the Land Board in terms of Leasehold or Occupational Land Right, develops the land itself or jointly with a private investor and then avails it to irrigation farmers under lease or profit-sharing agreements with the ministry. A small-scale irrigation farmer component will be included on irrigation land developed by the State and the commercial enterprise qualifies for incentives as described in the brochure.

Commercial irrigation development in communal areas

This option is for farmers who have land allocated to them by the Traditional Authority and who wish to engage in irrigation commercial farming. Before any development on this land can commence, the Green Scheme Implementation Unit must assist the farmer to apply for Leasehold from the local Land Board, as per Act 5 of 2002.

 

As part of the policy’s implementation mechanism, the MAWF has established the Section 21 company - Agricultural Business Development (AgriBusDev) Agency. This company now oversees the development and management of the ministry’s green scheme irrigation projects.

 

The company is also meant to take over the obligations of employees who are not part of the ministry as far as the green scheme projects are concerned. Although it is meant to provide services to the public, it is not a profit-making business. PF