Agricultural Schemes in Namibia for Meeting Essential Needs

Agricultural Schemes in Namibia for Meeting Essential Needs

Neeta Baporikar (HP-GSB, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia) and Konis Elungi (Agro Marketing and Trading Agency, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3247-7.ch026


Namibia has been striving to improve the rural poor quality of life through policies and schemes in line with the national development framework (Vision 2030). Sustained food production is one of the major initiatives, as it constitutes as basic livelihood activity but also augments rural income and livelihood. Apart from that, it is also a citizen's critical need. Though significant the schemes are, their contribution to household income and their role in improvement of livelihood is never taken up and exploration done. Adopting the DFID sustainable livelihood assessment framework, this chapter uses direct observations and primary data to present an assessment of the contribution of selected agricultural schemes.
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The Namibian government has been striving to improve the rural poor quality of life by strengthening existing livelihood programs, crafting and implementation of enabling policies, schemes and introduction of enabling institutions to diversify and increase their income by securing the market, improving the distribution network and developing agro-processing so as to meet the essential needs. Agricultural schemes play an important role in enhancing personal development, agricultural productivity of the farmer (Okorji & Meheja, 1993). They also ultimately contribute to national development especially in developing countries (Orebiyi, 1999).

According to Rigourd (2006), there is no comprehensive appraisal method for agricultural schemes in terms of their performance in accordance with Namibia’s National Development Framework (Vision 2030). Due to lack of suitable appraisal method, the difficulty lies in measuring effectiveness of these schemes and their contributions to national development to enable to meet citizens’ essential needs. Hence, the aim of the current chapter is to do that by adoption of (DFID, 1999, 2000) Sustainable Livelihood Assessment Framework. The sample includes selected schemes based on national development and livelihood improvement that enable to meet beneficiaries’ essential needs. Fifty respondents (household head) were involved in the household questionnaire survey conducted from the study areas. The main objective of this study was to assess the contribution of schemes to household income and livelihood improvement and analyse factors influencing the economic activities and sustainability of livelihood strategies of public agricultural schemes beneficiaries in Orange River Irrigation Project and Ndonga Linena Project.

Specific objectives of the study include:

  • 1.

    To analyse Livelihood Capital/Assets from which beneficiaries of schemes construct their livelihood.

  • 2.

    To examine the various Livelihood Strategies engaged by schemes beneficiaries in Orange River Irrigation Project and Ndonga Linena Project.



The government of the Republic of Namibia has initiated several agricultural schemes for development in the last decade. These schemes implementation was the responsibility of competent project implementing agencies. Some of the important schemes among them are: Green Scheme Projects, National Horticulture Development Initiative, National Resettlement Programme, The Affirmative Action Loan Scheme, Provision of Livestock Breeding Material (Bull Scheme) and Dry Land Crop Production Programme (DLCPP). This study deals with only two Green Scheme Irrigation Projects, chosen in accordance with their ability to contribute to Namibia’s development framework (Vision 2030). The schemes aimed to reduce poverty, create employment, promote economic empowerment, stimulate and sustain economic growth and reduce inequalities in income distribution and regional development.

Small-scale farmers who use governmental schemes as a tool in poverty mitigation were the focus. Their socio-economic characteristics and community related factors did have influence on their livelihood activities. Hence, in-depth analysis of beneficiaries’ social, cultural and economic relationships as it influences their livelihood activities was undertaken. These variables were explored through qualitative method through personal interviews with semi structured questionnaire followed by a thorough transect walk. Qualitative method consists of three kinds of data collection techniques namely: in-depth, open-ended interviews, direct observation and documents (Patton, 1990). The sample in this study are Ndonga Linena Green Scheme and Orange River Irrigation Projects, under the management of a state-owned enterprise (SOE), namely Agricultural Business Development Agency (AGRIBUSDEV).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green Scheme Policy: An initiative conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry to encourage the development of irrigation-based agronomic production in Namibia.

Transformation: The act or process of transforming in form, appearance, nature, or character; or an alteration, especially a radical one. A change in position or direction of the reference axes in a coordinate system without an alteration in their relative angle.

Government: The organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it.

Sustainable Livelihood: A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining natural resource bases.

Facilitators: Formal assistance methods, factors, or programs available in an organization to help a company to achieve goals or objectives. Facilitators enable individuals, groups, and organizations to work more effectively to collaborate and achieve synergy.

Indigenous Knowledge: Knowledge, which is cultural, based and created out of individualized context.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Is a term for segmenting businesses and other organizations that are somewhere between the “small office-home office” size and the larger enterprise. Country to country this term may vary, and usually the basis is the criteria of investment, number of employees and turnover, etc.

Gross Domestic Product: Refers to the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.

State-Owned Enterprise: Refers to enterprises owned by the state/government.

Sustainable: Pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse, able to be maintained or be kept going, as an action or process.

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