New developments within the agricultural sector, which include new bilateral, regional and multi-lateral agreements as well as the current and expected impacts of climate change and agricultural land reform have prompted the revision of the National Agricultural Policy which has been in existence since 1995.
The new policy was launched last year in December by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa. At the launch the minister said that the document has been revised to provide a broad guideline to Government, its agencies and all stakeholder in the agriculture sector to work in uniform and collective efforts.
The Namibia Agriculture Policy is the overarching policy and will serve as a base for drafting new as well as aligning existing policies, law and regulations. The policy presents a framework for the design of programmes and projects that will steer the performance of the sector.
According to Mutorwa, countries belonging to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have also initiated a process for the harmonisation of agricultural and related policies.
In reviewing this policy, the Government recognises that the African Union (AU) and its Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have taken the initiative to have common agriculture development agenda under Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
Mutorwa added that the policy and strategy are not cast in stone, that it must keep track with Government's overall objectives and the dynamic agricultural environment.
"We will remain flexible in making appropriate amendments if and when necessary," he added.
Meanwhile, the implementation of the strategies under this policy are expected to be a combined effort by a host of role players within the Government, private sector and civil society as well as with the support of the international cooperating partners, all under the coordination and supervision of the Ministry of Agricultural, Water and Forestry.