Changes within the agricultural sector such as the number of bilateral, regional and multilateral developments as well as current and expected impacts of climate change and agricultural land reform affecting the performance of the sector has prompted the revision of the 1995 National Agricultural Policy.
As the backbone of the economy, the agriculture sector is taking a new direction to increase and sustain agricultural production, that is regionally and internationally competitive, which in the long run will advance overall economic development.
The Agriculture Policy is a review of the 1995 national Agricultural Policy which presents a new direction in developing the sector.
Speaking at the official launch of the revised policy in Windhoek, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Hon. John Mutorwa said that the policy is a product of broad consultations and has taken over two years to complete.
“In its formulation of the initial a draft, the Ministry took due cognisance of Namibia’s obligations and commitment under the relevant international treaties and agreements.”
While reviewing the policy, it was taken into consideration that the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities like SADC will follow through with a Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
This new policy will serve as a base for drafting new as well as positioning existing policies, laws and regulations.
Countries belonging to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have agreed to harmonise agricultural and related policies after SADC Ministers of Agriculture adopted the implementation of Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP).
Government also recognised inter-linkages through the value chain as well as other sectors relevant to agriculture.
The Acting Permanent Secretary to the ministry, Abraham Nehemia said that the monitoring and evaluation will be carried out regularly as it is of great importance to ensure that Sectoral Execution Plans which are broken down into Annual Sectoral Execution Plans which determines the need programmes and development projects both by Government and the private sector.
“When necessary, the Policy would be revised to ensure that it address the changing environment and circumstances,” Nehemia said.
Meanwhile, Mutorwa added that the Policy and Strategy are not cast in stone, and that it must be keep track with Government’s overall objectives and the dynamic agricultural environment. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry will remain flexible in making appropriate amendments if and when necessary.