R1 billion boost for Namibian agriculture

The African Development Bank Group (ADBG) has approved a R1 billion loan to finance Namibia’s Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project.


The project is aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, thereby reducing imports of cereal crops, as well as facilitating job creation, and enhancing household incomes of especially rural people.

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Namibia’s ministry of agriculture, water and forestry will implement the project over a five-year period.

It is estimated that about 294 500 crop farmers, 10 000 livestock farmers and 111 smallholder farmer cooperatives, as well as 800 000 people indirectly involved in these value chains, will benefit from the project.

The cost of the project is expected to be R1,42 billion, of which the ADBG will finance 70,5%, while the government and beneficiaries will contribute the remaining 25,5% and 4%, respectively.

“Many other African countries are standing in line for this type of funding as it translates into soft loans [with] significantly lower [interest rates] than what is available in the open market. It would even be a great boost for the South African farming industry,”

Theo de Jager, chairperson of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACUA) said.

One of the main reasons why many countries struggled to attract this type of funding was the uncertainty about land ownership and property rights.

A country such as Zimbabwe would really benefit from such a loan to help it get back on its feet, but it is unlikely to happen in the absence of significant change in its land ownership policies. Namibia, on the other hand, is a leading example of transformation that does not threaten property ownership,” he said.