Namibia - Agriculture

Less than 1% of Namibia is arable. About 47% of the active population depends on agriculture for their living. Agriculture consists of two sectors: a commercial sector with some 50,000 workers (producing 80% of annual yields), and a subsistence sector situated largely in communal areas. Colonialism left Namibia with a three-tier agricultural production system: 4,000 commercial ranches; 20,000 stock-raising households; and 120,000 mixed-farming operations. The ranches displaced local farmers on 66% of the viable farmland and left only 5% of the land to the 120,000 mixed-farming operations.

Corn is grown primarily in the area known as the Grootfontein–Otavi–Tsumeb triangle, where farms are much smaller than in other parts of the country. Corn production in 1999 amounted only to 18,000 tons (down from 50,000 tons in 1991). Recent droughts have created a dependency on grain imports. Namibia is dependent on South Africa for corn, sugar, fruit, and vegetables. In 2001, Namibia's agricultural trade deficit was $17.8 million.

Caprivi and Kavango in the northeast have potential for extensive crop development. Communal farms there are estimated to produce 60% of their staple food, such as mahango (which is also used to brew beer). Cotton, groundnut, rice, sorghum, and vegetable production have begun on an experimental basis in Kavango. An irrigation project at Hardap Dam near Mariental produces corn, alfalfa, feed corn, and grapes.

Also read article about Namibia from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Petronella Buys
Why not import farmers and give them land to farm on, on a contract basis with the government?
What miss informed statement buy miss P. Buys.
Namibia is a land of oppertunity, we have smart people in our country who do know how to farm and farm well, example being Sidney Martin.
These type of people can teach our commrades from Kavango and Caprivi Regions how to farm not only for themselves but in order to feed the whole Nation and make profit in the process. It is clear to me and the educated people of Namibia that we are not a Nation that should be importing the basic food groups.
So I would like to call upon the Namibian governmentto startb investing in our people and stop enriching other countries.
Good day to all good citizens of Namibia

I am interested in farming and specifically your country, I am thinking of around Hardap dam.

My interests are:
a. sheep on a small scale, fed for the market not older than 5 months;
b. and lusern on a much bigger scale, would like to work around 100ha for local use and if any
left overs for possible export to neighboring countries.

To be able to do this, I will require:
a. land with ample water and electricity freely available;
b. a basic house to accommodate me till further improvements can be made;
c. I am of the opinion that a labor force of around 4 families will be required;
d. are you aware of any interest in lusern?

Can anybody please put me in touch with suitable propositions?

Highly appreciated.


Allen Chainda
As mentioned in the article, Caprivi has the potential for crop production. I wonder how this potential will be utilised to maximise crop output for Namibia national consumption with the implementation of the KAZA agreement. The implementation of KAZA will increase the conflict between crop, wildlife and humans. Given opportunities for training, funding and market, Caprivi can maximise on vegetable, crop and large stock (cattle) production to not sustain Namibians but increase exports.

The Small Scale Commercial Farming in the Caprivi is a possible solution to increase food security in Namibia. Why do I say so?

1. Caprivi has viable and fertile under-utilised land suitable for most crops.
2. Caprivi has high rainfall figures in comparison to other regions of Namibia.
3. Caprivi has savannah suitable for large stock farming (cattle).
4. Caprivi is surrounded by four rivers (Zambezi, Linyanti, Kwando and Chobe)and therefore no contest for possible irrigation.
5. Caprivi is positioned well to access neighbouring states for market penetration. It is bordering Zambia, Botswana, Angola and Zimbabwe.
6. Caprivi serve as a host for the electricty link (supply)to some perts of Namibia.

With these few facts, I want to believe that Caprivi can contribute significantly to both crop and large stock production in Namibia. However, the implementation of KAZA which encourages conservation of wild life is a concern for the effective utilisation of the Caprivi arable and fertile land. GRN and the private sector should start thinking on the possibility of utilising the natural resources in the Caprivi region for the benefit of all Namibians.


Anyone knowledgeable about camels in Namibia? Where can they be found, are they used for agriculture or herding? A friend told me he had three camels and walked the Namibian Coast with them from Oranjanmund to the Angolan border, then left the camels with a farmer. How much would it cost me to buy three camels in Namibia? would it be easy to find them if I wanted to do the same walk? Thanks for any help you can offer.
Shalom, my name is Karen, I was born in Namibia, but have lived in Israel for the past twenty years. We are farmers, we farm organic peppers and tomatoes in hothouses in the desert in Israel. We are interested in helping Namibia with this type of farming as we have the experience and the knowledge of how to do it. THank you, Karen Scholvin
Ngundjii E. K. Tjizera
I am a graduate student in Namibia but still I have doubts if the Northern Namibian Regions will one day equally enjoy the same benefits of their fellow Southern region farmers. Animals are plenty in the central to the extreme northern regions of Namibia than they are in the other parts of the Namibian countryside. However, the main reason for this is the meat market which have have a particula standards which our farmers have to adhere to. On the other hand the incentives to promote countryside ffarmers to improve their lives are far less. Projects are lacking administrators to pull the farmers out of the mud.. Help us out even with farming diversification of any kind.
Hi Karen,

did you ever get response to the query?

What are the requirements/conditions of such production systems
can you share figures?

where can you grow these? in cities, how much land is needed? yields, inputs, profitability, management, etc?

it seems a very interesting farming business?

In Caprivi we are blessed, because we can grow any type of plants, they will grow in the Caprivian land. There is the availability of water for livestocks, as mr chainda mentioned it earlier that caprivi is surrounded by rivers. Caprivi is known as a basket of food,through research proved that, the area has a fertile soil,people and animals are depending on that soil. In one way or another, the region is supporting the whole nation with food.
Malenga Festus
we Namibian youth who have a concern on food production in Namibia. we have organized our selves to produce food but we do not have place and we do not have resources and materials. what should we do and where can we get help/
Rumeta atanasius
In kavango we have a serious problem in terms of farming but we are blessed with the river, very nice fertile soil and we have enough land for farming, specialist should come help our poor kavango with trainings.
Piet Uys
Hi I am involved with vegetable farming in Rundu need advice pls contact me
Ampie Liebenberg
I am moving to Kamanjab and want to start farming with vegetables. We have strong water. Can you please send me info on what types of vegetables i can plant and also a schedule of what at what time of the year. Regards
Theresa Moetie
I would like Ms to get in contact with Ms Karen Scholvin regarding development of hothouses. Maybe she can come to my farm in the south of Namibia and come help me to set it up.

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