Namibia’s agricultural sector has recorded an improvement. Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein announced that the sector is doing well despite the challenges brought about by the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We are doing well, the agricultural sector is growing. We have market access to the best-buying markets in the world and we can pick and choose which commodities to export. We have the best breeds while we are the only country in Africa to export beef to the European Union, United States of America, China and the rest of Africa,” Schlettwein said.
According to Schlettwein, the agricultural sector will focus on unlocking the potential of green schemes as well as bringing up small-scale farmers in order to improve their livelihoods while intensifying crop production.
In the third quarter of 2021, the import bill for agricultural commodities stood at 228 million Namibian dollars while export earnings stood at 565 million Namibian dollars, showing that the country was a net exporter of agricultural commodities for that period, according to data from Namibia Statistics Agency.
Agriculture in Namibia is based mainly on livestock farming. Since the natural vegetation serves as grazing, the type of livestock farmed differs between different parts of the country. In the south mainly sheep and goats are farmed by both commercial and communal sectors. The average size of commercial farms in this area is 7500 ha. In the higher rainfall areas in the north and centre, cattle are farmed. The average size of commercial farms here is 4,500 ha (Statistisches Bundesamt, 1992) but 7,000 to 9,000 ha is considered an economical unit in this area (H. Kölling, pers. comm.).